Economists and Integrity

Two economists who recently lost part of their titles;

Andrei Shleifer ’82 isn’t the only Harvard economics professor to have been stripped of his endowed title after allegedly getting his hands dirty.

Martin L. Weitzman, the Harvard faculty member accused of stealing horse manure from a Rockport, Mass., farm in April 2005, has also recently lost his title as the Ernest E. Monrad Professor of Economics.

David Warsh has an interesting column on the issue. He concludes;

“There is, indeed, a common thread running through both incidents: a rather startling arrogance; in each case a Harvard professor acted as though he were entitled to take whatever he wanted, regardless of the law. Granted, there is not much moral equivalence between a $900 quarrel in a small town, on the one hand, and, on the other, an unrepentant betrayal of an adoptive country, an alma mater, hundreds of employees and a raft of friends (which also cost Harvard well over $30 million and much reputational capital). Applying the same penalty to the perpetrator of a misdemeanor as to a man who smuggled Soviet-style values into the highest levels of government and education in the United States might seem to send no more weighty a message to the Harvard faculty than, Don't get our name in the newspapers by breaking the law. But perhaps it is too early to say.

Small gestures, cunningly contrived, can have big effects. The price of not doing the right thing is going up as well.”

What is Harvard teaching its students? Mankiw, please explain?

On the Subject of Hypocrisy: The Shleifer Affair

Truth and Truthfulness (podcast)
Philosophers and theologians explore ideas about truth and truthfulness.


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This page contains a single entry by Paul published on November 11, 2006 5:26 PM.

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