Monday, August 27, 2012

Ethics and Socioeconomic Research

The main post for links and resources to research ethics is here. I am using this post to develop a set of links and resources more specifically for Economics and socioeconomic research. Suggestions welcome. 

The RESPECT project, funded by the European Commission’s Information Society Technologies (IST) Programme, to draw up professional and ethical guidelines for the conduct of socio-economic research.

On 1st July 2012, the American Economic Association adopted a disclosure policy, which states that "all submissions to AEA journals, including revisions of previously submitted papers, must be accompanied by a Disclosure Statement:

(1) Every submitted article should state the sources of financial support for the particular research it describes. If none, that fact should be stated.

(2) Each author of a submitted article should identify each interested party from whom he or she has received significant financial support, summing to at least $10,000 in the past three years, in the form of consultant fees, retainers, grants and the like. The disclosure requirement also includes in-kind support, such as providing access to data. If the support in question comes with a non-disclosure obligation, that fact should be stated, along with as much information as the obligation permits. If there are no such sources of funds, that fact should be stated explicitly. An “interested” party is any individual, group, or organization that has a financial, ideological, or political stake related to the article.

(3) Each author should disclose any paid or unpaid positions as officer, director, or board member of relevant non-profit advocacy organizations or profit-making entities. A “relevant” organization is one whose policy positions, goals, or financial interests relate to the article.

(4) The disclosures required above apply to any close relative or partner of any author.

(5) Each author must disclose if another party had the right to review the paper prior to its circulation.

(6) For published articles, information on relevant potential conflicts of interest will be made available to the public.

(7) The AEA urges its members and other economists to apply the above principles in other publications: scholarly journals, op-ed pieces, newspaper and magazine columns, radio and television commentaries, as well as in testimony before federal and state legislative committees and other agencies.

Blog posts on this by Stephen Kinsella and Olaf Storbeck.

Paper by Gerald Epstein and Jessica Carrick-Hagenbarth showing that many economists who made proposals for financial reform between 2005 and 2009 failed to reveal their links to private financial institutions.

Reaction to the policy from Gerald Epstein.

Articles in the Chronicle of Higher Education and the Wall Street Journal.

Article about the case for a professional code of ethics for economists in The Economist.

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