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Economists as political philosophers : a critique of normative trade theory

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  • Robert Lepenies

Abstract

Economists are political philosophers. This claim is defended based on an investigation of normative arguments made in economics textbooks. The paper aims to explain, reconstruct and contest the neoclassical vision implicit in mainstream economic trade theory. Analyzing arguments made by international economists from the perspective of political philosophy, I show how the contemporary defence of free markets and trade liberalization is linked to a specific normative ideal of the political and social good.

Suggested Citation

  • Robert Lepenies, 2014. "Economists as political philosophers : a critique of normative trade theory," RSCAS Working Papers 2014/11, European University Institute.
  • Handle: RePEc:rsc:rsceui:2014/11
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Political philosophy; Neoclassical economics; Normative trade theory; Free trade; Efficiency;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • A12 - General Economics and Teaching - - General Economics - - - Relation of Economics to Other Disciplines
    • A13 - General Economics and Teaching - - General Economics - - - Relation of Economics to Social Values
    • B21 - Schools of Economic Thought and Methodology - - History of Economic Thought since 1925 - - - Microeconomics
    • B50 - Schools of Economic Thought and Methodology - - Current Heterodox Approaches - - - General
    • D60 - Microeconomics - - Welfare Economics - - - General
    • F11 - International Economics - - Trade - - - Neoclassical Models of Trade

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