What is Economics? – Attitudes and views of German economists
Which schools of thought are favored by German economists? What makes a good economist and which economists have been most influential? These questions were addressed in a survey, conducted in the summer of 2006 among the members of the ‘Verein für Socialpolitik’, the association of German speaking economists. An econometric analysis is used to identify to what extent ideological preferences or personal factors determine the respondents’ answers. Our results suggest that German economists favor Neoclassics as a school of thought and appreciate the contributions of their Anglo-Saxon colleagues much more than their fellow compatriots’ contributions. Furthermore, a ‘good’ economist should have expertise in a certain field, as well as a broader knowledge of general economics. Some of the results can be compared to Colander (2008). The results indicate that graduate programs noted for their American style greatly influence a student’s opinion as to what attributes a good economist must have.
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