Heckman on Academia

23 October 2008 at 12:40 am Leave a comment

| Peter Klein |

Steve Levitt links to this update on the travails of the University of Chicago’s proposed Milton Friedman Institute. Jim Heckman, an Institute supporter who has recently expressed public doubts about its conception and development, is on the hot seat. Heckman makes an interesting observation, in passing, that relates to a previous discussion of research funding:

Heckman added that all institutes are affected by bias, citing hiring decisions as a source of bias throughout the University.

“I doubt there is a truly unbiased academic. Besides, most biased people don’t see themselves as biased. If you think the [Chicago Graduate School of Business] is an unbiased environment, think again. They are recruited for their views. I wonder also how many free marketers would get jobs in anthropology or sociology,” he said.

“It’s true for any institute. You state a mission, attract funders. They expect the mission to be fulfilled. Very rarely do people fund pure knowledge,” he said.

Entry filed under: - Klein -, Education, Institutions, Myths and Realities, Public Policy / Political Economy.

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