My ethical conundrum with Frederic Mishkin

So… I’m like… I want to adopt Mishkin’s new macroeconomics textbook for my MBA macro class this summer and in the fall… Why? Because I reviewed a chapter of the new edition for Pearson and I liked the approach.  Sure there were some things that annoyed me, but in macro it is all about the lesser annoyance, and Mankiw is a major annoyance.  But then a colleague and I were talking, and he reminded me about Inside Job… see below… oh does Mishkin look bad….

So I dunno… I tend to think that there is an ethical problem here. Perhaps I am unaware of the facts. But Mishkin’s rebuttal to set the record straight (and maybe there are others) seems unconvincing.  It seems pretty obvious he did a fistpump… at the prospect of receiving $124,000 for a puff-piece article (though I wonder about the conflicts of interest at being paid such a large sum while also being an employee…where exactly? Columbia University?)… and then of course will have to live it down for a long time… probably he hoped nobody would ever even know… and perhaps he wrote and took money for dozens of similar articles… So why should I contribute indirectly to his wealth?  Should I ask him to contribute any royalties to Friends of African Village Libraries? (Where I am a slave labor volunteer for the past 13 years…)

So I think I have decided, dear reader, to adopt the text provisionally, and read it carefully, and see what my MBA students think of the ethical issues.  So stay tuned later this summer when I come back to the issue.

About mkevane

Economist at Santa Clara University and Director of Friends of African Village Libraries.
This entry was posted in Politics. Bookmark the permalink.