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Plato's Republic and liberal economic education for the twenty-first century


  • Jeffrey Wagner

    () (Economics Department, Rochester Institute of Technology)


Much of the insight economists would like to share with non-economists derives from two fundamental concepts: division of labor and intrinsic versus extrinsic incentives. As Plato's Republic offers concise treatment of both concepts, it provides an excellent complement to standard principles of economics texts. Indeed, utilizing Republic enables a richer understanding of these two central economic concepts, in the process of promoting the importance of liberal education in general, and the ethical dimensions of economic policy design in particular.

Suggested Citation

  • Jeffrey Wagner, 2007. "Plato's Republic and liberal economic education for the twenty-first century," Economics Bulletin, AccessEcon, vol. 1(2), pages 1-10.
  • Handle: RePEc:ebl:ecbull:eb-07a20004

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Robin L. Bartlett, 1996. "Discovering Diversity in Introductory Economics," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 10(2), pages 141-153, Spring.
    2. Frey, Bruno S & Oberholzer-Gee, Felix, 1997. "The Cost of Price Incentives: An Empirical Analysis of Motivation Crowding-Out," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 87(4), pages 746-755, September.
    3. Frank D. Tinari & Kailash Khandke, 2000. "From Rhythm and Blues to Broadway: Using Music to Teach Economics," The Journal of Economic Education, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 31(3), pages 253-270, September.
    4. Bilodeau, Marc & Gravel, Nicolas, 2004. "Voluntary provision of a public good and individual morality," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 88(3-4), pages 645-666, March.
    5. Bewley, Truman F, 1995. "A Depressed Labor Market as Explained by Participants," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 85(2), pages 250-254, May.
    6. Donna M. Kish-goodling, 1998. "Using The Merchant of Venice in Teaching Monetary Economics," The Journal of Economic Education, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 29(4), pages 330-339, January.
    7. Sam Allgood & William Bosshardt & Wilbert van der Klaauw & Michael Watts, 2004. "What Students Remember and Say about College Economics Years Later," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 94(2), pages 259-265, May.
    8. Laffont, Jean-Jacques, 1975. "Macroeconomic Constraints, Economic Efficiency and Ethics: An Introduction to Kantian Economics," Economica, London School of Economics and Political Science, vol. 42(168), pages 430-437, November.
    9. George A. Petrochilos, 2002. "Kalokagathia: The Ethical Basis of Hellenic Political Economy and Its Influence from Plato to Ruskin and Sen," History of Political Economy, Duke University Press, vol. 34(3), pages 599-631, Fall.
    10. Frey, Bruno S, 1997. "A Constitution for Knaves Crowds Out Civic Virtues," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 107(443), pages 1043-1053, July.
    11. Michael Wattsee, 2002. "How Economists Use Literature and Drama," The Journal of Economic Education, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 33(4), pages 377-386, December.
    12. Harberger, Arnold C, 1993. "The Search for Relevance in Economics," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 83(2), pages 1-16, May.
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    More about this item


    Division of Labor;

    JEL classification:

    • A2 - General Economics and Teaching - - Economic Education and Teaching of Economics
    • A0 - General Economics and Teaching - - General


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