An Investigation of Conflict of Interest When Economists Serve a Role as An Objective Expert The Turkish Case

In order to graduate from International Finance Department in 2011, you can download the finishing project we prepared with my department friends Oben TÜRKDAMAR, Sedef KÜÇÜKALTUN and Merve BALCI from the link below:

An Investigation of Conflict of Interest When Economists Serve a Role as An Objective Expert The Turkish Case

ABSTRACT

In this project we analyze the conflict of interest that arises when economists writing columns as objective experts in Turkish newspapers fail to disclose their private sector connections. To achieve this goal, we collect information about about 27 Turkish economists with various political views who write about economic and financial issues in daily newspapers and/or popular magazines and journals. Fifteen of these economists write in the top twenty newspapers by circulation as reported by gazeteciler.com while the remaining twelve write elsewhere. There are three terms that optimist, pessimist, business connections which we used in hypotheses. Optimism means that despite absolute signals of the crises of 2001 and 2008, the thought that everything will be okey. Pessimism means the thought that existing economic system naturally involved crises. Business connections mean the business in private sector that could gain personel interest. Based on the data we collect on these economists we then test the following hypotheses:

Hypothesis 1: Those economists who write in the top 20 journals based on circulation are more optimistic than those economists who write elsewhere.

Hypothesis 2: Those economists who write in the top 20 journals based on circulation have more business connections than those economists who write elsewhere.

Hypothesis 3: Those economists who have business connections are more optimistic than those economists who do not have business connections.

An ANOVA analysis shows that none of the above hypotheses can be rejected. Of course, this is not a proof that economists with business connections are biased toward optimisim but our results raise the question of such a possibility.

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