John Davis - How to Avoid Herding in Research

About the Interview

An individual fish reduces the danger to itself by swimming as close as possible to the center of the school. That is how schools hold together. John Davis says that researchers and fish are alike -- both engage in herd behavior. PhD production, the role of journals, the incestuous relationship between top universities -- Davis looks at it all with an eye to informing policy to promote diversity and alternative views in the profession -- this is new economic thinking.

About John Davis

Davis is professor of history and philosophy of economics at the University of Amsterdam and professor of economics at Marquette University. Full profile



Thank you for this nugget.

The herding phenomenon is massively present in the
public policy research world.

Years back, I was swept into the Japan Dai-Ichi bubble.
I wrote my "Men with the Yen " for IRPP, before Ezra Vogel's classic.

Now, I do follow the new tulipomania
of "China as G-1" (The Peterson Institute ) and "The Decline and Fall of America's Decline and Fall" (Joseph
S. Nye ).

Such musing has impact.Yesterday,a student assured me about the inevitable Decline of Europe.

Would your group extend your attention beyond academic
economics ?

Zavis P.Zeman
ZZ International


Very nice.

Herding is a cognitive bias, so this is basically behavioural economics applied to the economics of economics research!

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