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Value Judgments and Value Neutrality in Economics


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.

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Article provided by London School of Economics and Political Science in its journal Economica.

Volume (Year): 73 (2006)
Issue (Month): 290 (05)
Pages: 257-286

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Handle: RePEc:bla:econom:v:73:y:2006:i:290:p:257-286
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  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. Mongin, P & d'Aspremont, C, 1996. "Utility Theory and Ethics," Papers 9632, Paris X - Nanterre, U.F.R. de Sc. Ec. Gest. Maths Infor..
  3. Sen, Amartya, 1991. "Welfare, preference and freedom," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 50(1-2), pages 15-29, October.
  4. 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.
  5. Hausman, Daniel M., 2000. "Revealed preference, belief, and game theory," Economics and Philosophy, Cambridge University Press, vol. 16(01), pages 99-115, April.
  6. Philippe Mongin, 2002. "Is there progress in normative economics?," Chapters, in: Is There Progress in Economics?, chapter 10 Edward Elgar.
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