ON October 26, Ding Xueliang, a professor of sociology at Hong Kong University of Science and Technology said that there are no more than five economists, in the real sense of the word, in China.
In his view, a true economist treats the economy as a subject rather than as a way to get rich or become famous. But many so-called economists in China today are so concerned about looking after their own personal interests that they’ve neglected to obey the basic work ethics that go with being an economist.
Although his conclusion seems to be too absolute, there’s still some truth in it. And that poses a question: Should economists pursue fame and wealth? And, if so, to what extent?