Does Economics Have an Effect? Towards an Economics of Economics

Working Paper No. 36

30 Pages Posted: 4 Apr 2000

Date Written: February 2000


Due to its formality and highly analytic thinking, economics is often attributed a leading role among the social sciences and a prominent position as contributor to economic or social issues in the real world. Fact is, however, that the empirical proof for such a claim is either missing or anecdotal. This paper aims to outline the ?economics of economics?. It surveys and compares approaches of impact measurement such as a production function of economics or the demand and supply of trained economists and discusses the determinants of the strength of the influence of economics. It furthermore discriminates between the impact of economic ideas versus that of economists as scientists or politicians.

JEL Classification: A11; A12; A14

Suggested Citation

Frey, Bruno S., Does Economics Have an Effect? Towards an Economics of Economics (February 2000). Working Paper No. 36, Available at SSRN: or

Bruno S. Frey (Contact Author)

CREMA ( email )

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

University of Basel ( email )

Peter Merian-Weg 6
Basel, 4002

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