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A Code of Conduct for Economists?

The Economist is running a forum on an interesting topic: Do economists need a code of conduct? The economists surveyed disagree on the merits of a code of conduct. Hal Varian is in favor: “YES, economists need a code of ethics. Any economist who reports an opinion or advice on economic matters would be expected to reveal any potential conflicts of interest that could distort the objectivity of the report.” Lant Pritchett, for one, disagrees: “This is not how an academic community should conduct itself. We should stand for allowing truth to emerge from a dedication to the evaluation of ideas, arguments, and evidence based on scholarly and disciplinary discourse.” Your thoughts, please; extra points given for not beating dead horses. [%comments]