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The Economist's Oath: On the Need for and Content of Professional Economic Ethics

Author

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  • DeMartino, George F.

    (Josef Korbel School of International Studies, University of Denver)

Abstract

Economists enjoy enormous influence over the life chances of the world's inhabitants, yet do not receive, at any point in their training, any exposure to the professional ethical challenges that their work entails. This lack of attention to professional ethics means that even well-meaning economists will take actions that can cross ethical lines, to the detriment of those whom they seek to serve. The Economist's Oath seeks to initiate a serious conversation among economists about the ethical content of their work, by raising fundamental questions on the nature of what economists do, the reception that ethics has historically had in the profession and why, how this reception is dangerous for all parties involved, the lessons to be drawn from other professions with advanced professional ethics, the principles that could emerge from professional economics ethics, and the kinds of reform in economic education that might be implied by a commitment to professional ethics. The book does not present an ethical expose or seek to embarrass the profession or individual economists, nor does it seek to lay down an ethical law for the profession. Instead, it more modestly but more importantly advances the case for the inauguration of a new tradition of inquiry. DeMartino argues that critical inquiry by economists into professional economic ethics would enhance the quality of the services that the profession offers, might help to prevent avoidable and consequential errors and could provide the communities that economists serve with a standard to which economists could be held accountable. Available in OSO: http://www.oxfordscholarship.com/oso/public/content/economicsfinance/9780199730568/toc.html

Suggested Citation

  • DeMartino, George F., 2011. "The Economist's Oath: On the Need for and Content of Professional Economic Ethics," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780199730568.
  • Handle: RePEc:oxp:obooks:9780199730568
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    Cited by:

    1. Andrew Mearman & Sebastian Berger & Danielle Guizzo, 2016. "Curriculum reform in UK economics: a critique," Working Papers 20161611, Department of Accounting, Economics and Finance, Bristol Business School, University of the West of England, Bristol.
    2. repec:ejw:journl:v:15:y:2018:i:1:p:4-19 is not listed on IDEAS
    3. Joseph Petrick & Wesley Cragg & Martha Sañudo, 2011. "Business Ethics in North America: Trends and Challenges," Journal of Business Ethics, Springer, vol. 104(1), pages 51-62, April.
    4. Edward O’Boyle & Luca Sandonà, 2014. "Teaching Business Ethics Through Popular Feature Films: An Experiential Approach," Journal of Business Ethics, Springer, vol. 121(3), pages 329-340, May.
    5. Ann E. Davis, 2013. "Panglossian Paradox: How Paradigmatic Purity Compromises Policy Effectiveness," Forum for Social Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 42(4), pages 346-358, November.
    6. repec:taf:jeduce:v:48:y:2017:i:1:p:15-26 is not listed on IDEAS
    7. Altug Yalcintas & Isil Sirin Selcuk, 2016. "Research Ethics Education in Economics," Review of Social Economy, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 74(1), pages 53-74, March.
    8. Nelson, J.A., 2013. "Ethics and the economist: What climate change demands of us," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 85(C), pages 145-154.
    9. Ann Davis, 2012. "Panglossian Economics," Challenge, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 55(6), pages 67-87.
    10. Ernest Biktimirov & Don Cyr, 2013. "Using Inside Job to Teach Business Ethics," Journal of Business Ethics, Springer, vol. 117(1), pages 209-219, September.

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