*Professor of Economics, Salisbury State University and Ph.D. student, Department of Economics, Auburn University. Helpful comments received from Thomas E. Borcherding, Donald McCloskey, John P. Sophocleus, Jack High, and several anonymous reviewers are gratefully acknowledged. We are responsible for remaining shortcomings.
THE IMPACT OF BAD WRITING IN ECONOMICS
Article first published online: 28 SEP 2007
Volume 30, Issue 4, pages 673–688, October 1992
How to Cite
Laband, D. N. and Taylor, C. N. (1992), THE IMPACT OF BAD WRITING IN ECONOMICS. Economic Inquiry, 30: 673–688. doi: 10.1111/j.1465-7295.1992.tb01289.x
- Issue published online: 28 SEP 2007
- Article first published online: 28 SEP 2007
We find significant style differences between articles written by economists for their professional journals and articles by the same economists in the Wall Street Journal. We find no evidence that style influences the professional success of economists, which suggests that the private rewards to improving the quality of writing are low. Indeed, each community of scholars has probably adopted a “professionally correct” writing style, from which its members diverge little. However, scholars do alter their rhetorical style to communicate effectively with audiences other than the professional community. This suggests that intra- and inter-group (written) communication by economists is efficient.