- 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
In claiming to be a “positive” science devoid of normativity, economics ignores a complex operation that involves personal, moral, and ethical assumptions; this chapter critically examines these assumptions via analysis of economic language and practice. We find that there is no such thing as positive, value-free economics; that the normative components are embedded in explicit and implicit assumptions; that economics is consequently heavily value laden; and that these assumptions replace traditionally religious values and archetypes. This chapter also shows how economists use argumentation that appears egoistic, but is at base altruistic. Juxtaposing this treatment of economics with an economic view of ancient myths, we find that consumption and growth are fundamental human problems, and that today our focus and reliance on institutions undermines ethical thinking. In conclusion, suggestions are offered for helping economists to become aware of these dimensions of their work and for increasing cognitive awareness of economic values.
Tomas Sedlacek is a Czech economist and university lecturer. He is the Chief Macroeconomic Strategist at ČSOB, a former member of the National Economic Council of the Czech Republic, and an economic advisor to former President Václav Havel.
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.