Sunday, January 8, 2012

New AEA conflict of interest disclosure rules

Economics becomes a bit more like medicine. Let's hope these rules work better in Economics...

January 5, 2012
American Economic Association Adopts Extensions to Principles for Author
Disclosure of Conflict of Interest

At its meeting today, the Executive Committee of the American Economic Association adopted extensions to its principles for authors’ disclosures of potential conflicts of interest in the AEA’s publications. The added principles are:

(1) Every submitted article should state the sources of financial support for the particular
research it describes. If none, that fact should be stated.

(2) Each author of a submitted article should identify each interested party from whom he or she has received significant financial support, summing to at least $10,000 in the past three years, in the form of consultant fees, retainers, grants and the like. The disclosure requirement also includes in-kind support, such as providing access to data. If the support in question comes with a non-disclosure obligation, that fact should be stated, along with as much information as the obligation permits. If there are no such sources of funds, that fact should be stated explicitly.  An “interested” party is any individual, group, or organization that has a financial, ideological, or political stake related to the article.

 (3) Each author should disclose any paid or unpaid positions as officer, director, or board   member of relevant non-profit advocacy organizations or profit-making entities. A "relevant” organization is one whose policy positions, goals, or financial interests relate to the article.

(4) The disclosures required above apply to any close relative or partner of any author.

(5) Each author must disclose if another party had the right to review the paper prior to its circulation.

(6) For published articles, information on relevant potential conflicts of interest will be made available to the public.

(7) The AEA urges its members and other economists to apply the above principles in other publications: scholarly journals, op-ed pieces, newspaper and magazine columns, radio and television commentaries, as well as in testimony before federal and state legislative committees and other agencies.

1 comment:

Don Moore said...

It's great that the AEA is taking seriously the conflicts of interest faced by their members. I wish I had more faith in the value of disclosure, but my research gives me reasons for skepticism. Divestiture is a more complete solution to conflicts of interest, but is so rarely practical.