We first show three major disagreements among today's leading economists: the minimum wage, the effects of large government debt and the politics of the European Central Bank. Using a prominent and highly relevant example, the possible deterrent effect of death penalty, we demonstrate how political convictions can have an impact on the results of empirical research even if the most advanced statistical methods are applied. Then we deal with three different approaches to analyse the process of political advice: the traditional approach, the Public Choice approach and the Political Economy of Scientific Advice. Contrary to the two others, the latter consistently applies the economic model of behaviour to all agents of this game: economic agents, politicians, but also scientists as political advisors. We then deal with the process of policy advice; the main scope is to show how this process has to be organised in order to allow for at least some objectivity, even if advisors are politically biased. To understand (and perhaps even improve) this process, the economic model of behaviour should be applied to all agents; a new' economic theory is not necessary.
economic policy advice minimum wage government debt death penalty objectivity self-interest