Building a Defense Against Fake Economics

The increased scrutiny that academics have faced since the financial crisis of 2008 has led to “the rise of slapdash or highly dubious economic views,” according to a recent Bloomberg article that says such theories should be tested more rigorously.

The article cites the example of President Trump’s “trade war with China” which, it says, he initiated on the advice of White House Trade Council head Peter Navarro. Although Navarro has academic credentials and has been published in peer-review journals, the article reports, most of his work is “related to topics such as the economics of energy, which has little to do with trade, the subject on which he is advising the president.” According to Bloomberg, this trend is surfacing in Europe as well.

“So, what is to be done to stop the world falling for bad economics?” the article asks? According to two French economists, it says, “the media have a crucial role to play in distinguishing between scholars with proven academic qualifications and polemicists who have little expertise to back up their ideas.” Journalists, they say, “should talk to real experts.”