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date: 22 January 2022

Abstract and Keywords

This chapter adopts a pluralist approach to addressing issues raised by the idea of a code of ethics for economists. Though it might be possible for economists to agree on some abstract standards of ethics, it is argued that the implementation of such standards would founder on the different views held about the nature of economic knowledge, stemming partly from different views of the subject matter. These differences color what may be identified as competence, what may be identified as personal rather than social interest, and what may be identified as the consequences of economic advice. Recognition of such differences of view is at the heart of a pluralist approach to economics. The chapter concludes with alternative, rather demanding, suggestions for a pluralist approach to ethics for economists.

Keywords: behavior of economists, code of ethics, economic behavior, pluralism

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