- The Oxford Handbook of Professional Economic Ethics
- Introduction, or Why This Handbook?
- The <i>Skin-in-the-Game</i> Heuristic for Protection Against Tail Events
- The Ethics of Economic Decision Rules
- In Praise of Imperfect Commitment: An Ethic of Power, Professionalism and Risk
- “Econogenic Harm”: On the Nature of and Responsibility for the Harm Economists Do as They Try to Do Good
- About Doing the Right Thing as an Academic Economist
- The Social Responsibility of Economists
- The Ethical Economist: Duty and Virtue in the Scientific Process
- Ethics in Relation to Economics, Ecology, and Eschatology
- Poisoning the Well, or How Economic Theory Damages Moral Imagination
- Economists’ Odd Stand on the Positive–Normative Distinction: A Behavioral Economics View
- The Complex Ethical Consequences of “Simple” Theoretical Choices
- Good, Evil, and Economic Practice
- Alternative Ethical Perspectives on the Financial Crisis: Lessons for Economists
- Economists’ Ethics in the Build-Up to the Great Recession
- Ethics and Advances in Economic Science: The Role of Two Norms
- The Meaning of <i>Deceive</i> in Experimental Economic Science
- Honesty and Integrity in Econometrics
- Lady Justice Versus Cult of Statistical Significance: Oomph-less Science and the New Rule of Law
- Balancing Risk and Benefit: Ethical Tradeoffs in Running Randomized Evaluations
- Conducting Ethical Economic Research: Complications from the Field
- The Unprincipled Randomization Principle in Economics and Medicine
- Professional Disequilibrium: Conflict of Interest in Economics
- Considerations on Conflict of Interest in Academic Economics
- Ethics, Economic Advice, and Economic Policy
- Neoclassical Economics as the New Social Engineering: The Debacle of the Russian Post-Socialist Transition
- The Ethics of Economic Development and Human Displacement
- How Can We Better Address the Gaps in our Knowledge about Development Effectiveness?
- Confessions of a Policy Analyst
- Ethics and the Government Economist
- The Ethics Problem: Toward a Second-Best Solution to the Problem of Economic Expertise
- First Tell No Untruth
- Ethical Issues in Forensic Economics
- Exposure and Dialogue Programs in the Training of Development Analysts and Practitioners
- Ethics and Learning in Undergraduate Economics Education
- Creating Humble Economists: A Code of Ethics for Economists
- Codes of Ethics for Economists, Pluralism, and the Nature of Economic Knowledge
- Author Index
Abstract and Keywords
The collective action problem of economic experts was diagnosed acutely by Knight and Pigou in the 1930s. The interest of economists as a group is in pursuing the public good of truth; the interest of an individual economist is in pursuing the private good of happiness. Pigou’s example is the pursuit of political influence. Deviation from truth-seeking devastates the theory of governance as objective inquiry laid out by Knight and John Rawls, as we saw in the eugenic era. We reformulate the Knight–Rawls position as truth-seeking contingent on a presupposed system. The best case for the Knight–Rawls position is transparency, where presuppositions are common knowledge. If transparency is infeasible making the nontransparency of inquiry itself transparent will serve as a second-best solution to warn third parties to make adjustments. A code of ethics can itself serve as a warning about the temptation. Pigou’s concern about nonpecuniary temptation should be added to the American Economic Association code of ethics.
David M. Levy is Professor of Economics at George Mason University. He is a Distinguished Fellow of the History of Economics Society. He shares with Sandra Peart directorship of the Summer Institute for the Preservation of the History of Economic Thought.
Sandra J. Peart is the Dean of the Jepson School of Leadership Studies of the University of Richmond. Her volume, Hayek on Mill: The Mill-Taylor Friendship and Related Writings, will be published by the University of Chicago in 2013. She shares with David Levy directorship of the Summer Institute for the Preservation of the History of Economics.
Access to the complete content on Oxford Handbooks Online requires a subscription or purchase. Public users are able to search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter without a subscription.
If you have purchased a print title that contains an access token, please see the token for information about how to register your code.