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Global Policy Institute

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Publication details

Reiss, Julian (2014). Struggling over the Soul of Economics: Objectivity versus Expertise. In Experts and Consensus in Social Science. Boumans, Marcel & Martini, Carlo New York: Springer. 50: 131-152.

Author(s) from Durham


The topics of this chapter are the notion of objectivity and the role for experts in economics. It will argue that core methodological debates are at heart debates about the notion of objectivity and about how objective a science economics can and should be. It will then introduce an alternative notion and show that for economics to be objective in the new sense, expert judgments are likely to play a much more prominent role than they currently do (or, more precisely, ought to do following the traditional ideal). It is quite obvious, however, that making expert judgments more prominent alone won’t suffice. The right kind of expert judgment is needed. The chapter will therefore end with some thoughts about what a better economic expertise might look like.