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Value Judgments and Value Neutrality in Economics

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  • PHILIPPE MONGIN

Abstract

The paper analyses economic evaluations by distinguishing evaluative statements from actual value judgments. From this basis, it compares four solutions to the value neutrality problem in economics. After rebutting the strong theses about neutrality (normative economics is illegitimate) and non-neutrality (the social sciences are value-impregnated), the paper settles the case between the weak neutrality thesis (common in welfare economics) and a novel, weak non-neutrality thesis that extends the realm of normative economics more widely than the other weak thesis does. Copyright (c) The London School of Economics and Political Science 2006.

Suggested Citation

  • Philippe Mongin, 2006. "Value Judgments and Value Neutrality in Economics," Economica, London School of Economics and Political Science, vol. 73(290), pages 257-286, May.
  • Handle: RePEc:bla:econom:v:73:y:2006:i:290:p:257-286
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Mongin, P & d'Aspremont, C, 1996. "Utility Theory and Ethics," Papers 9632, Paris X - Nanterre, U.F.R. de Sc. Ec. Gest. Maths Infor..
    2. T. de Scitovszky, 1941. "A Note on Welfare Propositions in Economics," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 9(1), pages 77-88.
    3. Erik Schokkaert, 1999. "M. Tout-le-monde est "post-welfariste". Opinions sur la justice redistributive," Revue Économique, Programme National Persée, vol. 50(4), pages 811-831.
    4. Mongin, P., 1999. "Normes et jugements de valeur en economie normative," Papers 99-20, Paris X - Nanterre, U.F.R. de Sc. Ec. Gest. Maths Infor..
    5. Philippe Mongin, 2002. "Is there progress in normative economics?," Chapters,in: Is There Progress in Economics?, chapter 10 Edward Elgar Publishing.
    6. Machlup, Fritz, 1978. "Methodology of Economics and Other Social Sciences," Elsevier Monographs, Elsevier, edition 1, number 9780124645509 edited by Shell, Karl.
    7. Hausman, Daniel M., 2000. "Revealed preference, belief, and game theory," Economics and Philosophy, Cambridge University Press, vol. 16(01), pages 99-115, April.
    8. Sen, Amartya, 1991. "Welfare, preference and freedom," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 50(1-2), pages 15-29, October.
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Mongin, P., 1999. "Normes et jugements de valeur en economie normative," Papers 99-20, Paris X - Nanterre, U.F.R. de Sc. Ec. Gest. Maths Infor..
    2. Antoinette Baujard, 2013. "Value judgments and economics expertise," Working Papers 1314, Groupe d'Analyse et de Théorie Economique Lyon St-Étienne (GATE Lyon St-Étienne), Université de Lyon.
    3. Philippe Mongin, 2009. "A game theoretic analysis of the Waterloo campaign and some comments on the analytic narrative project," Working Papers hal-00489974, HAL.
    4. Marcelo Resende & Rodrigo M. Zeidan, 2007. "Lionel Robbins: A Methodological Reappraisal," CESifo Working Paper Series 2165, CESifo Group Munich.
    5. Silvestri, Paolo, 2015. "Disputed (Disciplinary) Boundaries. Philosophy, Economics, Value Judgments," CESMEP Working Papers 201504, University of Turin.
    6. Bogusław Czarny, 2011. "Chaos in Basics of Economics (About Ambiguity of the Terms "Positive Economics" and "Normative Economics")," Ekonomia journal, Faculty of Economic Sciences, University of Warsaw, vol. 25.
    7. repec:hid:journl:v:24:y:2016:3:9:p:187-221 is not listed on IDEAS
    8. Philippe Mongin, 2006. "L'analytique et le synthétique en économie," Recherches économiques de Louvain, De Boeck Université, vol. 72(4), pages 349-383.
    9. Robert Lepenies, 2014. "Economists as political philosophers : a critique of normative trade theory," RSCAS Working Papers 2014/11, European University Institute.
    10. Paolo Silvestri, 2016. "Disputed (Disciplinary) Boundaries: Philosophy, Economics and Value Judgments," History of Economic Ideas, Fabrizio Serra Editore, Pisa - Roma, vol. 24(3), pages 187-221.
    11. Philippe Mongin, 2007. "Une étude d'histoire militaire instruite par la théorie des jeux et quelques amplifications méthododologiques," Working Papers hal-00582657, HAL.
    12. Bogusław Czarny, 2011. "The Debate on the Nature of Welfare Economics in the Contemporary Methodology of Economics," Ekonomia journal, Faculty of Economic Sciences, University of Warsaw, vol. 27.
    13. Sophie Jallais & Pierre-Charles Pradier & David Teira, 2008. "Facts, Norms and Expected Utility Functions," Université Paris1 Panthéon-Sorbonne (Post-Print and Working Papers) halshs-00274361, HAL.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • D70 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making - - - General
    • B20 - Schools of Economic Thought and Methodology - - History of Economic Thought since 1925 - - - General
    • D60 - Microeconomics - - Welfare Economics - - - General
    • B41 - Schools of Economic Thought and Methodology - - Economic Methodology - - - Economic Methodology

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