+2 votes
asked ago in General Economics Questions by (140 points)
In January 2018, AEA developed its very first code of professional conduct for economist. Are the development of standards for the economist profession being considered? For example, finance professionals must adhere to a code of ethics and integrity standards. These professionals and the U.S. organizations that they work for (public and private) must comply with a one, unified approach to financial reporting that is governed by the Financial Accounting Standards Board (FASB). These FASB standards are known as the Generally Accepted Accounting Principles. Standards can assist in minimizing the misleading estimates and methodological challenges that persist in conducting economic impact studies by colleges and universities.

2 Answers

0 votes
answered ago by (3.3k points)
Interesting question. I am quite oblivious about finance... does all/any type of financial academic research classify as "financial reporting?"
+1 vote
answered ago by (3.3k points)
While I appreciate the intent, I have a hard time seeing how we can apply uniform standards.  Furthermore, would such an approach slow down ground breaking approaches of the past  be it Heckman's model of selection, the rise of quasi-experiments from Card, Angrist, Krueger, and others, and new work on partial identification being done right now. Each approach that breaks new ground might seem questionable at first.  

How can you have something like generally accepted accounting principles when in micro economics we can't agree on how to cluster, how to weight, how to pick polynomial orders, or what the right counterfactual is.  Perhaps the last example if the most illuminating.  In most economics problems we're not debating how to add up numbers.  We're simply debating which number is the best prediction for states of the world we can never see.  How can we ever universally agree on that?