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date: 22 January 2022

Abstract and Keywords

Potential market failures in economic research are addressed in part through enlightened self-interest (reputation building) and strengthened through nonconsequentialist ethical traditions that emphasize duty and virtue. To illustrate, this chapter follows a hypothetical student researcher making ethically laden professional choices; it draws attention to the moral hazards in truth seeking and the ways in which socially enforced norms can reduce cheating. The often-unstated yet critical role of an academic mentor is to indoctrinate students in the ideology of science and the virtues of integrity—in opposition to utility maximization. Critical thinking can be enhanced when these considerations are elaborated using the theory and evidence of Adam Smith and Vernon Smith, respectively. The chapter also explores the role of the economics profession in promoting ethical conduct among its members.

Keywords: virtue ethics, duty ethics, asymmetric information, moral hazard, market failure, social norms

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