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AFA releases statement on ethics and looks for feedback on the AFA Code of Professional Conduct

Tuesday, August 7, 2018  
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Integrity, transparency and respect are central to the scientific process and a healthy and productive scientific community. In recognition of these values, in September 2016 the American Finance Association adopted a Code of Professional Conduct and Ethics, a common set of principles to guide the actions of financial economists. We believe financial economists have a responsibility to promote and instill these values in the profession.

The recent litigation involving faculty members at Columbia Business School serves to remind us all of the importance of the guidelines outlined in the AFA Code.  These guidelines include prohibitions against discrimination, harassment and abuse of power. 

The AFA is active in ensuring adherence to high ethical standards in all of its core activities, including the Journal of Finance.[1]  In light of this recent litigation, we will review our Code of Professional Conduct and Ethics and explore further how to best promote the principles that are vital to the scientific process and the fair treatment of all scholars, including how the Association responds to reports of ethical violations.  We will continue to consult with the AFA Board, the AFA Ethics Committee, and AFFECT, and welcome your input and participation in this process.  To this end, we have created this link where you can provide feedback to the AFA regarding the Code and its implementation.


[1] The AFA has taken, and will continue to take, complaints of unethical behavior very seriously with regard to the Journal of Finance. Formal review procedures are in place to ensure all parties in the review and publication process behave in a manner consistent with the Code and the Journal’s disclosure policies. Responsibility for addressing complaints or concerns relating to the Journal and its review process ultimately resides with the Executive Committee of the AFA.  Anyone who feels that their engagement with the Journal of Finance or the Association has been compromised by behaviors of any party that are inconsistent with its policies, or anyone with credible information that someone else has been harmed by such behaviors, should contact the AFA’s Secretary Treasurer, James Schallheim.


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