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Economic Science and Political Influence

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  • Saint-Paul, Gilles

Abstract

When policymakers and private agents use models, the economists who design the model have an incentive to alter it in order influence outcomes in a fashion consistent with their own preferences. I discuss some consequences of the existence of such ideological bias. In particular, I analyze the role of measurement infrastructures such as national statistical institutes, the extent to which intellectual competition between different schools of thought may lead to polarization of views over some parameters and at the same time to consensus over other parameters, and finally how the attempt to preserve influence can lead to degenerative research programs.

Suggested Citation

  • Saint-Paul, Gilles, 2012. "Economic Science and Political Influence," CEPR Discussion Papers 9263, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  • Handle: RePEc:cpr:ceprdp:9263
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Fudenberg, Drew & Levine, David K., 2009. "Self-confirming equilibrium and the Lucas critique," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 144(6), pages 2354-2371, November.
    2. Bos, Frits, 2011. "Three centuries of macro-economic statistics," MPRA Paper 35391, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    3. Timothy Cogley & Thomas J. Sargent, 2005. "The conquest of US inflation: Learning and robustness to model uncertainty," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 8(2), pages 528-563, April.
    4. Olivier Blanchard, 2009. "The State of Macro," Annual Review of Economics, Annual Reviews, vol. 1(1), pages 209-228, May.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Autocoherent models; Degenerative research programs; Identification; Ideology; Intellectual competition; Macroeconomic modelling; Polarization; Self-confirming equilibria;

    JEL classification:

    • A11 - General Economics and Teaching - - General Economics - - - Role of Economics; Role of Economists
    • E6 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Macroeconomic Policy, Macroeconomic Aspects of Public Finance, and General Outlook

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