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How everyday ethics becomes a moral economy, and vice versa

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  • Keane, Webb

Abstract

Unrealistic assumptions underlying neo-classical economic theory have been challenged by both behavioral economics and studies of moral economy. But both challengers share certain features with neo-classical theory. Complementing them, recent work in the anthropology of ethics shows that economic behavior is not reducible to either individual psychology or collective norms. This approach is illustrated with studies of transactions taking place at the borders between market rationality and relationships among persons - organ donation and sex work. The paper argues that the inherent value accorded to social relations tends to resist instrumentalization and that the biases that dealing with other people introduce into reasoning are not flaws but part of the core functions of rationality.

Suggested Citation

  • Keane, Webb, 2019. "How everyday ethics becomes a moral economy, and vice versa," Economics Discussion Papers 2019-9, Kiel Institute for the World Economy (IfW Kiel).
  • Handle: RePEc:zbw:ifwedp:20199
    as

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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. McCloskey, Deirdre Nansen, 2006. "The Bourgeois Virtues," University of Chicago Press Economics Books, University of Chicago Press, number 9780226556635, January.
    2. Kahneman, Daniel & Tversky, Amos, 1979. "Prospect Theory: An Analysis of Decision under Risk," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 47(2), pages 263-291, March.
    3. Guth, Werner & Schmittberger, Rolf & Schwarze, Bernd, 1982. "An experimental analysis of ultimatum bargaining," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 3(4), pages 367-388, December.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    ethics; moral economy; behavioral economics; organ donation; sex work; gifts; social interaction; rationality;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • A10 - General Economics and Teaching - - General Economics - - - General
    • D01 - Microeconomics - - General - - - Microeconomic Behavior: Underlying Principles
    • D63 - Microeconomics - - Welfare Economics - - - Equity, Justice, Inequality, and Other Normative Criteria and Measurement
    • D91 - Microeconomics - - Micro-Based Behavioral Economics - - - Role and Effects of Psychological, Emotional, Social, and Cognitive Factors on Decision Making
    • E71 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Macro-Based Behavioral Economics - - - Role and Effects of Psychological, Emotional, Social, and Cognitive Factors on the Macro Economy
    • Z13 - Other Special Topics - - Cultural Economics - - - Economic Sociology; Economic Anthropology; Language; Social and Economic Stratification

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