Tullock on Motivated Inquiry: Expert-Induced Uncertainty Disguised as Risk
32 Pages Posted: 4 Nov 2010
Date Written: November 3, 2010
Gordon Tullock denied the scientific status to economics because economists can trade results with the subject of our analysis, e.g., “you can have a low estimate for nothing but a high one will cost you something.” We suppose this to be the fate all disciplines in which the results matter to those we study. When the trading is nontransparent then there is no reason to believe that the sampling distribution of the estimates will be what it is believed to be. To the extent these estimates are employed in decision making we face the problem of uncertainty which we believe to be risky. The ludicrous number of AAA ratings of securities is case in point. Taking trading between experts and subjects as inevitable, we propose to ask if the trade is fair. When scientific unanimity fails, can a Rawlsian unanimity replace it?
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