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WARNING: This site deals only with the corporate corruption of science, and makes no inference about the motives or activities of individuals involved.
    There are many reasons why individuals become embroiled in corporate corruption activities - from political zealotry to over-enthusiastic activism; from gullibility to greed.
    Please read the OVERVIEW carefully, and make up your own mind.



economists network
Robert Tollison
Richard Wagner




[Temporary: while site is under construction]  

David Saurman    

— An cash-for-comments economics professors. He was available as an economist-for-hire with the tobacco industry to help them oppose public smoking bans and rising cigarette taxes. —  

Some key documents

1981 Dec 1: Consultant James Savarese reports to Susan Stuntz at the Tobacco Institute for activites during November ( for himself and his employee, Leslie Dawson). His consultancy is specialising in coopting labor and economists, and countering the next Surgeon General's report.

  • met with officials of the Economic Policy Institute (EPI) to discuss tax strategy.
  • continued discussion with Coalition of Labor Union Women (CLUW) re national convention
  • continued work with National Energy Management Institute (NEMI) on development of training program and brochure.
  • meetings with Citizens for Tax Justice, Leadership for the New Century, Citizens for Tax Justice, National Economic Commission.
  • on the task force for Airline Cabin Air Quality (weekly meetings/ writing op-eds)
He also lists successes he has had with getting economists to plant op-eds on various local newspapers.
  • Prof David Saurman - op-ed on Prop 99 with San Jose Mercury News
        Also numerous reviews of the Tollison/Wagner book "Smoking and the State".
  • Prof Ryan Amacher (Clemson Uni) in The State.
  • Joseph Jadlow (Oklahoma State Uni) in Tulsa Tribune.
  • Todd Sandler (Iowa State Uni) in Fort Dodge Messenger.
  • Robert B Ekelund (Auburn Uni) Montgomery Advertiser.
  • Dwight R Lee (Washington Uni) Regulation Magazine.
  • Samson Kimenyi (Uni of Mississippi) in Jackson Clarion ledger.
  • David ER Gay (Uni of Arkansas) in Arkansas Democrat.

    Also attached are the accounts ($114,589 for the Tobacco Industry Labor Management Committee disbursement.

1988: Bob Tollison and Dick Wagner [both cash-for-comment, tobacco economists from George Mason University] are giving evidence on Worksite Smoking Policies for the Tobacco Institute. They quote 'misleading accounting data' as the reason why smokers are believed to have higher absenteeism rates, and quote Ekelund et al as establishing that:

"when such factors are taken into account, smoking per se has no impact on worker absenteeism. ( Ault RW, RB Ekelund, JD Jackson, RS Saba and DS Saurman, Smoking and Absenteeism : An Empirical Study, Auburn, Alabama — 1988) .
[There is no sign of this 1988 study report in the Tobacco Institute files — one that we would expect them to have both funded and celebrated — but see 1990]

1990 April: Social Cost overview by TBD and Carol Hrycaj at the Tobacco Institute says:

[A] TI-commissioned social cost research paper on smoking and absenteeism, completed in 1989, has been accepted for publication by an academic journal.

    "Smoking and Absenteeism," by consulting economists Robert Ekelund, Richard Ault, John Jackson, Richard Saba and David Saurman, has been accepted for publication by the academic journal, Applied Economics. The authors examine previous absenteeism and productivity studies and find that the "association of smoking and increased absenteeism is spurious."

    Consulting economists will receive TI support for a presentation of academic papers during the Western Economic Association's conference to be held in San Diego in June. The session, "Smoking and Public Policy," will involve Dwight Lee and Gary Anderson in a discussion of smoking and social cost issues.

See page 30

    [Note the date the study was 'completed and accepted' — a date which is two years after it was being referenced by Tollison and Wagner for the tobacco industry.]