- List of Figures
- List of Tables
- Notes on Contributors
- Adam Smith and the Study of Ethics in a Commercial Society
- Virtue and Economics, Horse and Cart
- With All Due Respect: A Kantian Approach to Economics
- Ethical Pluralism in Economics
- Economic Ethics and the Capability Approach
- Evolution and Moral Motivation in Economics
- Morality as a Complex Adaptive System: Rethinking Hayek’s Social Ethics
- On the Evolution of Ethics, Rationality, and Economic Behavior
- Human Ethicality: Evidence and Insights from Behavioral Economics
- Ethics <i>and</i> Economics: A Complex Systems Approach
- Economics and Ethics within the Austrian School of Economics
- Feminist Economics and Ethics
- Economy and Culture: The Importance of Sense-Making
- Humane Markets: The Classical Tradition of Political Economy
- Capitalism and Democracy: Allies, Rivals, or Strangers?
- The Moral Status of Profit
- The Ethics of Money and Finance
- Ethics <i>and, in</i>, and <i>for</i> Labor Markets
- Cost-Benefit Analysis and Social Welfare Functions
- The Normative Economics of Social Risk
- The Ethics of Making Risky Decisions for Others
- The Tragedy of Economics: On the Nature of Economic Harm and the Responsibilities of Economists
- Economics, Ethics, and Health Insurance
- Deontological Morality and Economic Analysis of Law
- The Ethics and Economics of Ecological Justice
- Civil Rights, Employment, and Race
- Lessons from Economics
Abstract and Keywords
Twentieth-century Austrian economists became known as champions of the free-market system yet claimed value-freedom in their economic analysis. However, advocacy of free markets is viewed as inherently ideological, involving ethical assumptions within the economic analysis. In this chapter, we discuss the connection between economics and ethics in the Austrian school of economics. We explore what value-freedom in the Austrian school entails and how twentieth-century Austrian economists were able to hold dual positions as value-free economists and advocates of free markets. We argue that Austrian economists separate ethical assumptions from their economic analysis. They maintain strict adherence to value-free analysis through an emphasis on social cooperation, which allows them to maintain their objectivity with respect to individuals’ ends. This combination allows Austrian economists to maintain their positions as value-free scientists while arguing that a free-market, capitalist system will best achieve peoples’ diverse ends.
Peter J. Boettke is University Professor of Economics and Philosophy at George Mason University and Director of the F.A. Hayek Program for Advanced Study in Philosophy, Politics, and Economics at the Mercatus Center
Kaitlyn Woltz is a third year PhD student at George Mason University in the Economics department. She is a PhD fellow with the Mercatus Center and a Graduate Fellow with the F.A. Hayek Program for Advanced Study in Philosophy, Politics, and Economics.
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