09-03 "Economic Writing on the Pressing Problems of the Day: The Roles of Moral Intuition and Methodological Confusion"
Economists are often called on to help address pressing problems of the day, yet many economists are uncomfortable about disclosing the values that they bring to this work. This essay explores how an inadequate understanding of the role of methodology, as related to ethics and human emotions of concern, underlies this reluctance and compromises the quality of economic advice. The tension between caring about the problems, on the one hand, and writing within the existing culture of the discipline, on the other, are illustrated with examples from U.S. policymaking, behavioral economics, and the economics of climate change and global poverty. Potential steps towards a more responsible, "strongly objective," and policy-useful economics are discussed.
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- Martin L. Weitzman, 2007. "A Review of the Stern Review on the Economics of Climate Change," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 45(3), pages 703-724, September.
- Dasgupta, Partha, 2007. "Reply To Putnam And Walsh," Economics and Philosophy, Cambridge University Press, vol. 23(03), pages 365-372, November.
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- Robert H. Frank & Thomas Gilovich & Dennis T. Regan, 1993. "Does Studying Economics Inhibit Cooperation?," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 7(2), pages 159-171, Spring.
- Nelson, Julie A., 2006. "Economics for Humans," University of Chicago Press Economics Books, University of Chicago Press, edition 0, number 9780226572024.
- William D. Nordhaus, 2007. "A Review of the Stern Review on the Economics of Climate Change," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 45(3), pages 686-702, September.
- Sandra Harding, 1995. "Can feminist thought make economics more objective?," Feminist Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 1(1), pages 7-32.
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