Richard T. Ely Lecture: The Economist as Plumber
American Economic Review, 2017, vol. 107, issue 5, 1-26
As economists increasingly help governments design new policies and regulations, they take on an added responsibility to engage with the details of policy making and, in doing so, to adopt the mindset of a plumber. Plumbers try to predict as well as possible what may work in the real world, mindful that tinkering and adjusting will be necessary since our models gives us very little theoretical guidance on what (and how) details will matter. This essay argues that economists should seriously engage with plumbing, in the interest of both society and our discipline.
JEL-codes: A11 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Note: DOI: 10.1257/aer.p20171153
References: View references in EconPapers View complete reference list from CitEc
Citations View citations in EconPapers (1) Track citations by RSS feed
Downloads: (external link)
https://www.aeaweb.org/articles/attachments?retrie ... h9T0DstbnNVOnAvG082l (application/zip)
Access to full text is restricted to AEA members and institutional subscribers.
This item may be available elsewhere in EconPapers: Search for items with the same title.
Export reference: BibTeX
RIS (EndNote, ProCite, RefMan)
Persistent link: https://EconPapers.repec.org/RePEc:aea:aecrev:v:107:y:2017:i:5:p:1-26
Ordering information: This journal article can be ordered from
Access Statistics for this article
American Economic Review is currently edited by Esther Duflo
More articles in American Economic Review from American Economic Association Contact information at EDIRC.
Bibliographic data for series maintained by Michael P. Albert ().