Tuesday, March 26, 2013

The economists' capture

Luigi Zingales has written a salient chapter on a book on preventing regulatory capture. His focus is not on the regulator, he describes the capture of economists by business interests. A reading of the whole article is required. I highlight this statement:
Most academic economists are very honest people, who chose their career because they were motivated by noble goals, like the quest for the truth and “making the world a better place”. Yet, the same can be said for the regulators. So why academic economists think that the regulators are generally captured, while they cannot stand even the thought that this might happen to one of them? This time we are different?
Those that have seen "Inside Job" may remember quite well good examples of such situations: academics serving on boards close to the revolving door and forgetting the theory and its implications for a while.

PS. From Marginal Revolution: firms with academics on board of directors are associated with higher performance.

PS. NYT on Kaiser Permanente: The face of future healthcare

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