What is Economics? - Attitudes and Views of German Economists

IEW Working Paper No. 451

32 Pages Posted: 9 Dec 2009

See all articles by Bruno S. Frey

Bruno S. Frey

CREMA; University of Basel

Silke Humbert

affiliation not provided to SSRN

Friedrich Schneider

Johannes Kepler University Linz - Department of Economics; CESifo (Center for Economic Studies and Ifo Institute for Economic Research); Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA)

Date Written: October 22, 2009

Abstract

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.

Keywords: Economics, economists, school of thought, neoclassics, homo oeconomicus

JEL Classification: A1, A11, E0

Suggested Citation

Frey, Bruno S. and Humbert, Silke and Schneider, Friedrich G., What is Economics? - Attitudes and Views of German Economists (October 22, 2009). IEW Working Paper No. 451. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1492610 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.1492610

Bruno S. Frey (Contact Author)

CREMA ( email )

Südstrasse 11
Zurich, CH 8008
Switzerland
+41 44 380 00 78 (Phone)

University of Basel ( email )

Peter Merian-Weg 6
Basel, 4002
Switzerland

Silke Humbert

affiliation not provided to SSRN ( email )

Friedrich G. Schneider

Johannes Kepler University Linz - Department of Economics ( email )

Altenbergerstrasse 69
A-4040 Linz, 4040
Austria
+43 732 2468 8210 (Phone)
+43 732 2468 8208 (Fax)

CESifo (Center for Economic Studies and Ifo Institute for Economic Research)

Poschinger Str. 5
Munich, DE-81679
Germany

HOME PAGE: http://www.CESifo.de

Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA)

P.O. Box 7240
Bonn, D-53072
Germany

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