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Ethics outside, within or beyond OR models

Since ethical concerns are calling for more attention within Operational Research, we present three approaches to combine Operational Research models with ethics. Our intention is to clarify the trade-offs faced by the OR community, in particular the tension between the scientific legitimacy of OR models (ethics outside OR models) and the integration of ethics within models (ethics within OR models). Presenting and discussing an approach that combines OR models with the process of OR (ethics beyond OR models), we suggest rigorous ways to express the relation between ethics and OR models. As our work is exploratory, we are trying to avoid a dogmatic attitude and call for further research. We argue that there are interesting avenues for research at the theoretical, methodological and applied levels and that the OR community can contribute to an innovative, constructive and responsible social dialogue about its ethics.

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File URL: http://www.econ.upf.edu/docs/papers/downloads/622.pdf
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Paper provided by Department of Economics and Business, Universitat Pompeu Fabra in its series Economics Working Papers with number 622.

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Date of creation: May 2002
Date of revision: Sep 2002
Handle: RePEc:upf:upfgen:622
Contact details of provider: Web page: http://www.econ.upf.edu/

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  1. Amartya Sen, 1997. "Maximization and the Act of Choice," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 65(4), pages 745-780, July.
  2. Felix Rauschmayer, 2000. "Ethics of multicriteria analysis," International Journal of Sustainable Development, Inderscience Enterprises Ltd, vol. 3(1), pages 16-25.
  3. Marc Le Menestrel, 2001. "A Process Approach to the Utility for Gambling," Theory and Decision, Springer, vol. 50(3), pages 249-262, May.
  4. Brans, J. Pierre, 2002. "Ethics and decision," European Journal of Operational Research, Elsevier, vol. 136(2), pages 340-352, January.
  5. Marc Le Menestrel & Luk Van Wassenhove, 2001. "The Domain and Interpretation of Utility Functions: An Exploration," Theory and Decision, Springer, vol. 51(2), pages 329-349, December.
  6. van den Hove, Sybille, 2000. "Participatory approaches to environmental policy-making: the European Commission Climate Policy Process as a case study," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 33(3), pages 457-472, June.
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