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Value judgments and economics expertise

  • Antoinette Baujard

    ()

    (GATE Lyon Saint-Étienne - Groupe d'analyse et de théorie économique - ENS Lyon - École normale supérieure - Lyon - UL2 - Université Lumière - Lyon 2 - UCBL - Université Claude Bernard Lyon 1 - Université Jean Monnet - Saint-Etienne - PRES Université de Lyon - CNRS)

This paper tackles the problem of the demarcation of value judgments in economic expertise. Is it possible to disentangle values from facts, or neutral scientific assertions from value-laden judgments, in the context of economic expertise ? If not, why not ? And if it is, under what conditions ? First, drawing on concepts from analytic philosophy, the paper highlights the interdependencies between descriptive, evaluative, and prescriptive judgments. Second, drawing notably on social studies of science, the paper proposes a definition of 'expertise', and translates this into a list of successive stages wherein these different types of judgments are involved. A backward analysis of these stages is provided in order to identify where values stand, and who holds them. Third, reconsidering the positions of neutrality in economics (Mongin 2006), the paper defends the 'weak non-neutrality' view in the context of expertise, and concludes with reflections on what could be done to address the problem of democratic legitimacy raised by the difficulty of demarcation.

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Date of creation: 22 Mar 2013
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Handle: RePEc:hal:wpaper:halshs-00803552
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  1. Kolm, Serge-Christophe, 1976. "Unequal inequalities. II," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 13(1), pages 82-111, August.
  2. Gajdos, Thibault & Weymark, John A., 2012. "Introduction to inequality and risk," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 147(4), pages 1313-1330.
  3. John B. Davis, 2005. "Robbins, Textbooks, and the Extreme Value Neutrality View," History of Political Economy, Duke University Press, vol. 37(2), pages 191-196, Summer.
  4. Crawford, Vincent P & Sobel, Joel, 1982. "Strategic Information Transmission," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 50(6), pages 1431-51, November.
  5. Sen, Amartya K, 1980. "Description as Choice," Oxford Economic Papers, Oxford University Press, vol. 32(3), pages 353-69, November.
  6. Antoinette Baujard, 2011. "L'économie du bien-être est morte. Vive l'économie du bien-être !," Post-Print halshs-00609257, HAL.
  7. David Andrews, 2010. "The Background to Hawtrey's Ethics," History of Political Economy, Duke University Press, vol. 42(2), pages 297-322, Summer.
  8. Antoinette Baujard, 2007. "Conceptions of freedom and ranking opportunity sets. A typology," Post-Print halshs-00294466, HAL.
  9. Ng, Yew-Kwang, 1972. "Value Judgments and Economists' Role in Policy Recommendation," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 82(327), pages 1014-18, September.
  10. Philippe Mongin, 2006. "Value Judgments and Value Neutrality in Economics," Economica, London School of Economics and Political Science, vol. 73(290), pages 257-286, 05.
  11. Gromb, Denis & Martimort, David, 2007. "Collusion and the organization of delegated expertise," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 137(1), pages 271-299, November.
  12. Antoinette Baujard, 2010. "Collective interest versus individual interest in Bentham's felicific calculus. Questioning welfarism and fairness," The European Journal of the History of Economic Thought, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 17(4), pages 607-634.
  13. Antoinette Baujard, 2011. "Utilité et liberté de choix dans les classements d'ensembles d'opportunités," Post-Print halshs-00667694, HAL.
  14. Boulding, Kenneth E, 1969. "Economics as a Moral Science," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 59(1), pages 1-12, March.
  15. Kolm, Serge-Christophe, 1976. "Unequal inequalities. I," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 12(3), pages 416-442, June.
  16. Márcia Balisciano & Steven G. Medema, 1999. "Positive Science, Normative Man: Lionel Robbins and the Political Economy of Art," History of Political Economy, Duke University Press, vol. 31(5), pages 256-284, Supplemen.
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