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Trustworthiness as a Moral Determinant of Economic Activity: Lessons from the Classics

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  • Michel Zouboulakis

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Abstract

This paper reviews the way that social norms and ethical values in general, and trustworthiness in particular, is perceived to affect the behavior of economic agents in view of the work of Adam Smith, Nassau William Senior and John Stuart Mill. Classical Political economists held that economic actions are context-dependent and thus constantly under the influence of social norms and values. It is further suggested here that Classical Economists had established that trustworthiness acts as a general ethical precondition for the efficient behaviour of the markets and an important asset of the national social capital.
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  • Michel Zouboulakis, 2010. "Trustworthiness as a Moral Determinant of Economic Activity: Lessons from the Classics," Forum for Social Economics, Springer;The Association for Social Economics, vol. 39(3), pages 209-221, October.
  • Handle: RePEc:spr:fosoec:v:39:y:2010:i:3:p:209-221
    DOI: 10.1007/s12143-009-9057-6
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