Economists lie more

Economists have a bad reputation, and this does not date from the recent crisis. This comes largely from those willing to prostitute themselves for various think tanks, lobby groups or trade group, or their employer, acting like a spokesperson than a critically-thinking and independent economist. Any many of those call themselves economists without actually being one (hence my earlier call for a certification). In the end, the general public thinks we are lying, mostly. Is there any truth to this?

Raúl López-Pérez and Eli Spiegelman performed some experiments where lying could be a winning strategy. While religiosity or gender does not impact the propensity of lying, one's undergraduate major matters, and the Business and Economics students fare the worst. And this does not come from selection into the major, it is acquired. So economists do lie more, because they see incentives to do so. Hence journalists should learn to interview economists that have no incentives to lie.

Somewhat relatedly, economists are also less generous, but in that case it is not acquired, but rather stemming from selection. But in both cases, it shows economists conform more to homo oeconomicus,

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