Finding Peace for Economists in Universities

By: Johnson, Marc A.


Johnson, Marc A., Finding Peace for Economists in Universities, Journal of Agricultural and Resource Economics, Volume 32, Issue 3, December 2007, Pages 417-424

Evidence suggests that economists and agricultural economists have an unusual ability to create anxiety for university administration. Interviewers with university provosts and deans revealed support for faculty conducting relevant policy analysis, and discomfort with economists' participation in internal university decision making. The conflict is addressed by considering the nature of the decision environment, specification of decision variables, and the demand for policy evaluation to inform economists how they might contribute their expertise in a peaceful and effective manner. economists can help central administration, as policy makers, to establish systems of incentives, success metrics, and divisions of authority which match the locus of specialized knowledge.