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ETHICS AND ECONOMIC THEORY

Ideas – Models – Dilemmas The late Kurt W. Rothschild, Formerly Professor Emeritus of Economics, University of Linz, Austria
This distinguished book provides a critical assessment of the relationship between economic theory, scientific objectivity and ethics.

The main purpose of economic science is to analyse and ‘explain’ the economic process but not necessarily to pass judgement as to whether this process is ‘good’ or ‘bad’. However, in practice it is very difficult for the economist to study the ‘laws’ of economics without ever touching ethical questions. It is shown that economic theories – despite avowals of scientific objectivity – contain implicitly or explicitly many aspects which have ethical implications.

Making extensive use of real-life examples and offering a new perspective on the ethical dimensions of economic analysis, this book will prove essential reading for economists and philosophers alike.
Extent: 176 pp
Hardback Price: £82.00 Web: £73.80
Publication Date: 1993
ISBN: 978 1 85278 675 5
Availability: In Stock
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  • Economics and Finance
  • Austrian Economics
This distinguished book provides a critical assessment of the relationship between economic theory, scientific objectivity and ethics.

The main purpose of economic science is to analyse and ‘explain’ the economic process but not necessarily to pass judgement as to whether this process is ‘good’ or ‘bad’. However, in practice it is very difficult for the economist to study the ‘laws’ of economics without ever touching ethical questions. It is shown that economic theories – despite avowals of scientific objectivity – contain implicitly or explicitly many aspects which have ethical implications.

Making extensive use of real-life examples and offering a new perspective on the ethical dimensions of economic analysis, this book will prove essential reading for economists and philosophers alike.
‘. . . well worth reading and absorbing, particularly by teachers of “principles” courses who wish to give their students a more correct perspective on the findings of the economic science of applied welfare economics contained in discussions of cost/benefit analysis, most distributive issues, and evaluations of tax policy.’
– Peter Groenewegen, History of Economics Review

‘. . . a worthwhile survey that would be useful in an advanced undergraduate or graduate seminars or as a reference work for graduate students.’
– B. Bateman, Choice

‘Ethics and Economic Theory is an excellent introduction to ethical problems associated with economic theory. Rothchild’s critique of contemporary economic theory is lucid and compelling.’
– Ken Hanly, Canadian Philosophical Reviews
Contents: 1. On Ethics 2. Ethics and Economic Research 3. The ‘Wertfreiheits’ Problem 4. Homo Oeconomicus – Homo Sociologicus 5. Moral Aspects of the Market 6. Welfare Economics 7. Interpersonal Comparisons of Utility 8. Cost–Benefit Analysis 9. Income Distribution and Justice