The AEA code of conduct draft

It reads in part,

The AEA encourages the “perfect freedom of economic discussion.” This goal requires considering each idea on its own merits and an environment where all can freely participate. Economists have a professional obligation to conduct civil and respectful dialogue in all venues including seminars, conferences, and social media. This obligation applies even when participating anonymously.

My thoughts:

1. Although it is called a “code,” the draft reads to me more like a statement of principles.

2. I was under the impression that this draft was developed in response to a scandal concerning the way women economists were treated on a particular discussion board. I was afraid it would be loaded with rhetoric along the oppressor-oppressed axis. But the only paragraph dealing with this issue is quite innocuous.

The AEA seeks to create a professional environment with equal opportunity and equal treatment for all economists, regardless of age, gender, race, ethnicity, national origin, religion, sexual orientation, disability, health condition, marital status, parental status, genetic information, professional status, or personal connections.

3. As I read the draft, the most prominent an egregious violations of the code of conduct take place in a regular column in the New York Times. I am not the only one who feels this way.

This entry was posted in Economic education and methods. Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to The AEA code of conduct draft

  1. Jack pq says:

    The trouble is that « civil and respectful » does not mean the same thing to all people. Economic seminars, for example, are typically rough on the speaker. Sometimes the audience will not let the speaker get through slide 1 without bombarding him or her with questions and criticisms. Sometimes the criticisms are unfair, indeed sometimes knowingly unfair. It’s part of the ritual.

    Or consider the case of Andrew Gelman vs Amy Cuddy. Gelman thought he was being entirely reasonable with his criticism, but Cuddy felt persecuted.

  2. Lord says:

    But what about meritless ideas? Are they owed anything?

Comments are closed.