Economics and ethics?

Published on Real-World Economics Review Blog, by David Ruccio, Nov. 9, 2010.

Economics and ethics. OK, so they’re not two words that are often mentioned in the same breath. Not after the Chicago Boys in Chile. Or Jeffrey Sachs’s “shock therapy” in Bolivia and Andrei Shleifer’s financial shenanigans in Russia. Or, most recently, the role of economists leading up to the financial crisis, as exposed in Charles Ferguson’s Inside Job … //

… There is no Hippocratic Oath in economics, not even a minimal “do no harm.” Fortunately, George DeMartino has a forthcoming book on the topic. In The Economist’s Oath, DeMartino both demonstrates the errors committed by economists in the absence of an ethical code and shows how economics education will have to changed in order to develop an ethical awareness among practicing economists. 

Based on talks I’ve heard DeMartino give on the topic, his book can’t come out too soon. In the meantime, maybe we should just stop neoclassical economists from plying their trade until they’ve adopted the Economist’s Oath. (full text).

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