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Value judgments and value neutrality in economics

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  • Mongin, Philippe

Abstract

The paper analyzes economic evaluations by distinguishing evaluative statements from value judgments proper. Building on this basis, it compares four solutions to the value-neutrality problem in economics. After rebutting the strong theses about neutrality (normative economics is illegitimate) and non-neutrality (the social sciences are value-impregnated), the paper settles the case between the weak neutrality thesis (common in welfare economics) and a novel, weak non-neutrality thesis that extends the realm of normative economics more widely than the other weak thesis does.

Suggested Citation

  • Mongin, Philippe, 2005. "Value judgments and value neutrality in economics," MPRA Paper 37751, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  • Handle: RePEc:pra:mprapa:37751
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Mongin, P & d'Aspremont, C, 1996. "Utility Theory and Ethics," Papers 9632, Paris X - Nanterre, U.F.R. de Sc. Ec. Gest. Maths Infor..
    2. T. de Scitovszky, 1941. "A Note on Welfare Propositions in Economics," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 9(1), pages 77-88.
    3. Erik Schokkaert, 1999. "M. Tout-le-monde est "post-welfariste". Opinions sur la justice redistributive," Revue Économique, Programme National Persée, vol. 50(4), pages 811-831.
    4. Mongin, P., 1999. "Normes et jugements de valeur en economie normative," Papers 99-20, Paris X - Nanterre, U.F.R. de Sc. Ec. Gest. Maths Infor..
    5. Philippe Mongin, 2002. "Is there progress in normative economics?," Chapters,in: Is There Progress in Economics?, chapter 10 Edward Elgar Publishing.
    6. Machlup, Fritz, 1978. "Methodology of Economics and Other Social Sciences," Elsevier Monographs, Elsevier, edition 1, number 9780124645509 edited by Shell, Karl.
    7. Hausman, Daniel M., 2000. "Revealed preference, belief, and game theory," Economics and Philosophy, Cambridge University Press, vol. 16(01), pages 99-115, April.
    8. Sen, Amartya, 1991. "Welfare, preference and freedom," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 50(1-2), pages 15-29, October.
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    Citations

    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.
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    Cited by:

    1. Mongin, P., 1999. "Normes et jugements de valeur en economie normative," Papers 99-20, Paris X - Nanterre, U.F.R. de Sc. Ec. Gest. Maths Infor..
    2. Antoinette Baujard, 2013. "Value judgments and economics expertise," Working Papers halshs-00803552, HAL.
    3. Marcelo Resende & Rodrigo M. Zeidan, 2007. "Lionel Robbins: A Methodological Reappraisal," CESifo Working Paper Series 2165, CESifo Group Munich.
    4. repec:hid:journl:v:24:y:2016:3:9:p:187-221 is not listed on IDEAS
    5. Paolo Silvestri, 2016. "Disputed (Disciplinary) Boundaries: Philosophy, Economics and Value Judgments," History of Economic Ideas, Fabrizio Serra Editore, Pisa - Roma, vol. 24(3), pages 187-221.
    6. Mongin, Philippe, 2009. "A game theoretic analysis of the Waterloo campaign and some comments on the analytic narrative project," Les Cahiers de Recherche 915, HEC Paris.
    7. Silvestri, Paolo, 2015. "Disputed (Disciplinary) Boundaries. Philosophy, Economics, Value Judgments," CESMEP Working Papers 201504, University of Turin.
    8. Bogusław Czarny, 2011. "The Debate on the Nature of Welfare Economics in the Contemporary Methodology of Economics," Ekonomia journal, Faculty of Economic Sciences, University of Warsaw, vol. 27.
    9. Mongin, Philippe, 2007. "Une étude d'histoire militaire instruite par la Théorie des jeux et quelques amplifications Méthodologiques," Les Cahiers de Recherche 866, HEC Paris.
    10. Sophie Jallais & Pierre-Charles Pradier & David Teira, 2008. "Facts, Norms and Expected Utility Functions," Université Paris1 Panthéon-Sorbonne (Post-Print and Working Papers) halshs-00274361, HAL.
    11. Philippe Mongin, 2006. "L'analytique et le synthétique en économie," Recherches économiques de Louvain, De Boeck Université, vol. 72(4), pages 349-383.
    12. Bogusław Czarny, 2011. "Chaos in Basics of Economics (About Ambiguity of the Terms "Positive Economics" and "Normative Economics")," Ekonomia journal, Faculty of Economic Sciences, University of Warsaw, vol. 25.
    13. Robert Lepenies, 2014. "Economists as political philosophers : a critique of normative trade theory," RSCAS Working Papers 2014/11, European University Institute.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Value Judgments; Value Neutrality; Positive-Normative Distinction; Welfare Economics; Robbins; Weber;

    JEL classification:

    • D70 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making - - - General
    • B20 - Schools of Economic Thought and Methodology - - History of Economic Thought since 1925 - - - General
    • D60 - Microeconomics - - Welfare Economics - - - General
    • B41 - Schools of Economic Thought and Methodology - - Economic Methodology - - - Economic Methodology

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