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Honesty and Integrity in Economics


  • Thomas Mayer

    (Department of Economics, University of California Davis)


When looked at individually there is little reason to think that economists lack integrity and are dishonest. Yet, when we look at academic papers written by economists we can see biases. This paper tries to reconcile these two observations by arguing that the constraints the profession sets on permitted practices are loose enough to allow economists to maintain their biases while conforming to the mores of their profession. There is little reason to think that economics is worse in this respect than some other fields.

Suggested Citation

  • Thomas Mayer, 2009. "Honesty and Integrity in Economics," Working Papers 92, University of California, Davis, Department of Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:cda:wpaper:09-2

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Kevin Hoover & Stephen Perez, 2001. "Three attitudes towards data mining," Journal of Economic Methodology, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 7(2), pages 195-210.
    2. Lovell, Michael C & Selover, David D, 1994. "Software Reviews," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 104(424), pages 713-726, May.
    3. McCullough, B. D., 2000. "Is it safe to assume that software is accurate?," International Journal of Forecasting, Elsevier, vol. 16(3), pages 349-357.
    4. Deirdre McCloskey & Stephen Ziliak, 2008. "Signifying nothing: reply to Hoover and Siegler," Journal of Economic Methodology, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 15(1), pages 39-55.
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    More about this item


    honesty; integrity; culture of economics; significance tests; data mining;

    JEL classification:

    • B - Schools of Economic Thought and Methodology
    • A - General Economics and Teaching


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