In an earlier post, I observed that novelists tend to be bad economists. But let's be fair. It is also the case, as any graduate student could tell you, that most economists would flunk an English composition course. Pick up an econ journal. I wager that you won't be able to read half a page without encountering a run-on sentence, 2 dangling modifers, 5 instances of overblown and unnecessary jargon, and enough passive verbs to put an espresso-crazed bibliophile into a coma.
But whereas novelists often believe themseves to be economists, economists take perverse pride in not being good writers. Well-crafted prose requires introspection, sensitivity, attention to nuance and tone. These are qualities that could harm your academic reputation, says Dr. Edgeworh Boks. They detract from what should be a slavish devotion to vacuous technicalities. Writing well signals that you care about communicating an idea and are willing to waste your time on such things. Unwise, says Boks. Effort devoted to any goal other than technical grandstanding defeats the purpose of writing a journal article.
Rumor has it that an assistant professor once used a vivid metaphor in a journal article and was promptly denied tenure.
The moral of the story: If you are a bad writer, perhaps you too can become an economist.
It's never too late.