In a month the American Economic Association will implement its new financial disclosure requirement for authors:
Beginning July 1, 2012, all submissions to AEA journals, including revisions of previously submitted papers, must be accompanied by a Disclosure Statement. This is applicable even when the authors have no relevant interests to disclose. Authors will need to provide a separate Disclosure Statement for each coauthor at the time of submission. Submissions that do not include the statements will be considered incomplete and will not be reviewed. Please see the complete Disclosure Policy at http://www.aeaweb.org/aea_journals/AEA_Disclosure_Policy.pdf
This is a good start. Next on the agenda, in a few years, will be a code of ethics.
While economists maintain that there is no enforcement mechanism for a code, having an explicit norm sets the expectations and influences behavior.
Passing a code is one thing—but teachers and mentors will need to embrace it. A code that is ridiculed would be worse than no code at all. Hence, major figures from various schools will need to support it publicly.
Sadly, this likely won't happen until another—larger—scandal engulfs us.