Januar 2004

IZA DP No. 1001: Advising Policymakers Through the Media

published in: Journal of Economic Education, 2004, 35 (4), 395-405

In the information age an exchange with the media is part of the duties the economics profession has to deliver to educate the public and to ensure its position in society. A key issue is the education of policymakers through the media. It is the silver bullet of policy advice in comparison to commissioned research and face-to-face advice provided to the politician. It also pleases the vanity of the scientist: Few economists are willing to sacrifice the celebrity of public visibility to the effectiveness of face-to-face advice. The paper advertises for a stronger role of researchers in the public debate and suggests ways to become more influential. It is argued that in the long run agenda setting is a more promising strategy than reactive press activities.