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Economics within a Pluralist Ethical Tradition


  • Jonathan B. Wight


Ethical pluralism is the recognition that multiple ethical frameworks operate in social settings to solve problems of moral hazard. In particular, non-consequentialist considerations of duty and virtue operate to restrain self-interest and lower transaction costs in exchange, such as when asymmetric information exists. Positive economics has tended to rely exclusively on a behavioral model that assumes utility maximization, but this approach fails to give credit to the neglected foundations of duty and virtue. Consequences, duties, and virtues all play a role in sustaining businesses, for example, and in promoting the search for truth within the economic research community. Normative welfare economics can also benefit from understanding vertical and horizontal pluralism.

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  • Jonathan B. Wight, 2014. "Economics within a Pluralist Ethical Tradition," Review of Social Economy, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 72(4), pages 417-435, October.
  • Handle: RePEc:taf:rsocec:v:72:y:2014:i:4:p:417-435 DOI: 10.1080/00346764.2014.960661

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Sabina Alkire, 2007. "The Missing Dimensions of Poverty Data: Introduction to the Special Issue," Oxford Development Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 35(4), pages 347-359.
    2. Boris Branisa & Stephan Klasen & Maria Ziegler, 2009. "The Construction of the Social Institutions and Gender Index (SIGI)," Ibero America Institute for Econ. Research (IAI) Discussion Papers 184, Ibero-America Institute for Economic Research.
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