'Nature' Unmasks German Economist as Fabulist and Plagiarist: A 63-year-old German economist has for decades falsely claimed an affiliation with the University of Maastricht, in the Netherlands, according to an article in tomorrow’s issue of Nature. The economist, Hans-Werner Gottinger, also appears to be a serial plagiarist [...]

Mr. Gottinger’s deceptions began to unravel two months ago, after an attentive reader noticed that a paper he published in the journal Research Policy in 1993 had pilfered a string of complex equations from a 1980 issue of another journal. The editors of Research Policy started to sniff around — and their plagiarism investigation eventually turned into something much larger. [...]

In a 34-year career, Mr. Gottinger has published works on ethics, statistics, environmental policy, and the economic effects of technological change. His most recent English-language book, Innovation, Technology, and Hypercompetition, was published last year by Routledge.

Two years ago, Mr. Gottinger was a keynote speaker, alongside the Nobelist Thomas C. Schelling, at the annual meeting of the World Association for Sustainable Development. His biography has been scrubbed from the conference’s Web page, but this cached version describes him as “Director of the Institute of Management Science, University of Maastricht, the Netherlands, and Professor of Economics at the University of Osaka (KGU), Japan.” The Osaka affiliation was also false, according to Nature.

More here, via Tyler Cowen.

by datacharmer | Tuesday, August 14, 2007
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  1. Surreptitious Evil Says:

    But is his work any good? If it is crap, then fine, if it adds competently or better to the overall body of knowledge then what is the harm?

    Like thee and I blogging anonymongly, really.

  2. datacharmer Says:

    Blogging anonymously amounts to withholding information we are under no moral or legal obligation to provide.

    Claiming you are someone you aren't, however, is morally repugnant (and you are on shaky ground legally too).

    Putting moral considerations aside for a minute, people often accept advice on the basis of who gives it, rather than by assessing the validity of the justification given. Furthermore, in a world where having your opinions heard or getting a job is contingent on you having more qualifications than the next guy, it is a big deal. Furthermore, if he was good why didn't he have his own genuine laurels to brandish about?

    And yes, if everyone did it the costs of losing the signalling benefits of, say, a university affiliation would be immense.