Scholarly Comments on Academic Economics

The Moral Narratives of Economists

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Moral narratives have a substantive effect on the research conclusions of economists. This is one of the findings from a recent survey of economists that we conducted, which found a relationship between views on empirical economic propositions and moral judgments. This finding may help to answer the question this symposium asks: Why don’t U.S. economists ever support the welfare state and oppose the regulatory state, or vice versa? We find the same moral narrative supports or opposes both states in tandem. To support one and oppose the other would be morally incoherent.