CHICAGO—A leading group of academic economists has adopted conflict-of-interest rules in response to criticism that the profession not only failed to predict the 2007-2008 financial crisis but may actually have helped create it.
The new policy stops well short of the broader ethical guidelines demanded by some in the field.
Many economists serve as consultants to companies, governments and other groups outside of their formal academic work. Critics both inside and outside the profession have argued those relationships—often lucrative and sometimes undisclosed—may have influenced economists' work, leading them first to miss signs of the impending crisis and then to recommend policy prescriptions that served their clients' interests, at the expense of the economy as a whole.
The criticisms were made most prominently in the 2010 film "Inside Job," which won an Academy Award for best documentary in 2011...