Political Economy

Retracted articles and unethical behavior in economics journals

Jul 30 '12

This particular story is pretty frustrating. From economist Stan Liebowitz:

There is virtually no interest in detecting cheating. And what good would that do if there is no form of punishment? I say this because I think I have found a case in one of our top journals but the editor allowed the authors of the original article to write an anonymous referee report defending themselves and used this report to reject my comment even though an independent referee recommended publication.

My impression is that controversies in political science are handled more openly. But there’s clear selection bias in that impression: a criticism that is suppressed would be a criticism that I probably would never have heard of!

Still, I wonder if political science is in better shape, compared to economics and other social sciences. Political science is an inherently interdisciplinary field, while economics seems often to refer mostly to itself, thus perhaps making it easier for leaders to control dissent.