Worth Reading

Worth ReadingHere’s a piece that I haven’t seen linked at my favorite aggregation sites that I think is interesting and worth the time in that it challenges conventional economic wisdom. I offer a snippet below in order to try to whet your appetite.

[G]iven its direct and indirect influence on policy making and for reasons of democratic accountability, economics should become much more aware of the values it (implicitly or explicitly) endorses. Those values are embedded in some of the basis concepts used but also in some of the assumptions in the theory-building.

The textbook example in the philosophy of economics literature to illustrate the insufficiently acknowledged value-ladenness of economics is the notion of Pareto efficiency, also known as ‘the Pareto criterion’. Yet time and time again (for me most recently two days ago at a seminar in Oxford) I encounter economists (scholars or students) who fail to see why endorsing Pareto efficiency is not value-neutral, or why there are good reasons why one would not endorse the Pareto-criterion.

I encourage you to read the entire article.

Economics as a moral science