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On the Process of Scientific Policy Advice - With Special Reference to Economic Policy

Author

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  • Gebhard Kirchgässner

Abstract

We first show three major disagreements among today’s leading economists: the minimum wage, the effects of large government debt and the politics of the European Central Bank. Using a prominent and highly relevant example, the possible deterrent effect of death penalty, we demonstrate how political convictions can have an impact on the results of empirical research even if the most advanced statistical methods are applied. Then we deal with three different approaches to analyse the process of political advice: the traditional approach, the Public Choice approach and the Political Economy of Scientific Advice. Contrary to the two others, the latter consistently applies the economic model of behaviour to all agents of this game: economic agents, politicians, but also scientists as political advisors. We then deal with the process of policy advice; the main scope is to show how this process has to be organised in order to allow for at least some objectivity, even if advisors are politically biased. To understand (and perhaps even improve) this process, the economic model of behaviour should be applied to all agents; a ‘new’ economic theory is not necessary.

Suggested Citation

  • Gebhard Kirchgässner, 2014. "On the Process of Scientific Policy Advice - With Special Reference to Economic Policy," CESifo Working Paper Series 5144, CESifo Group Munich.
  • Handle: RePEc:ces:ceswps:_5144
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
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    6. Berit C. Gerritzen & Gebhard Kirchgässner, 2013. "Facts or Ideology: What Determines the Results of Econometric Estimates of the Deterrence Effect of Death Penalty? A Meta-Analysis," CESifo Working Paper Series 4159, CESifo Group Munich.
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    economic policy advice; minimum wage; government debt; death penalty; objectivity; self-interest;

    JEL classification:

    • A11 - General Economics and Teaching - - General Economics - - - Role of Economics; Role of Economists
    • H19 - Public Economics - - Structure and Scope of Government - - - Other
    • H63 - Public Economics - - National Budget, Deficit, and Debt - - - Debt; Debt Management; Sovereign Debt
    • J31 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Wages, Compensation, and Labor Costs - - - Wage Level and Structure; Wage Differentials
    • K14 - Law and Economics - - Basic Areas of Law - - - Criminal Law

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