Working paper

Economic Science and Political Influence

Gilles Saint-Paul


When policymakers and private agents use models, the economists who de- sign the model have an incentive to alter it in order infuence outcomes in a fashion consistent with their own preferences. I discuss some consequences of the existence of such ideological bias. In particular, I analyze the role of mea- surement infrastructures such as national statisticall institutes, the extent to which intellectual competition between different schools of thought may lead to polarization of views over some parameters and at the same time to consensus over other parameters, and finally how the attempt to preserve influence can lead to degenerative research programs.


Ideology; Macroeconomics modelling; Self-confirming equilibria; Polarization; Autocoherent Models; Intellectual Competition; Degenerative Research programs; Identification;

JEL codes

  • A11: Role of Economics • Role of Economists • Market for Economists
  • E6: Macroeconomic Policy, Macroeconomic Aspects of Public Finance, and General Outlook


Gilles Saint-Paul, Economic Science and Political Influence, TSE Working Paper, n. 12-365, November 27, 2012.

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TSE Working Paper, n. 12-365, November 27, 2012