In Germany, public debates between economists are rather rare. However, in media cover-age on economists there is an implicit assignment to ideological camps, such as employer/employee-friendly or left/market liberal. Since for most of the economists this assignment is rarely explicitly pronounced, an empirical investigation based on the media coverage is difficult. Our contribution examines the assigned orientation of economists by proximity in networks of peers and scientists from other disciplines. For this purpose, we use data collected in a survey among ministry officials and parliamentarians about policy-advising scientists in the years 2014 to 2018. The respondents could name up to five economists and five scientists from other disciplines. It is assumed that respondents are more likely to name those together where they see a certain proximity to each other, and probably to them-selves as well. Over the years, the network analysis of the survey data shows two stable central clusters around the presidents of two Leibniz institutes: Clemens Fuest and Hans-Werner Sinn from the Ifo - Leibniz Institute for Economic Research in Munich and Marcel Fratzscher from the German Institute for Economic Research (DIW Berlin). The most important scientists of non-economic disciplines associated with the clusters are also revealing: with reference to the cluster "Fuest", these are primarily legal and political scientists. The cluster "Fratzscher" is primarily associated with political scientists and sociologists.
Keywords: Network analysis, economists, scientists, policy advice