Mikko Packalen (Waterloo) will be visiting this week on Thursday. The presentation, titled “Power of Economists”, starts at 14:30 and will be in STH 215.
Abstract: Economics is an influential and exceptional discipline in social sciences, dominating other social science and humanities fields. This paper quantifies the influence of economists and other professions through an analysis of 311 million news articles published during 1980-2022. We show that the influence of economists grew during the Covid pandemic, especially in high-status newspapers and broadcast networks, and that economists were more active in debates on lockdowns, testing and vaccines than in the debates on hospital capacity and school closures. There is similar variance in the influence of economists across climate change topics. We also examine whether the relatively high-powered nature of economics as a scientific discipline explains some of the marked distinction in the influence and public posture of economists relative to representatives of other social science and humanities disciplines.