Document Type

Contribution to Book

Language

eng

Format of Original

19 p.

Publication Date

3-7-2013

Publisher

Oxford University Press

Source Publication

Handbook on Professional Economic Ethics: View from the Economics Profession and Beyond

Source ISSN

9780199766635

Abstract

This chapter examines economists’ indefensible attachment to the positive-normative distinction, and suggests a behavioral economics explanation of their behavior on the subject. It reviews the origins of the distinction in Hume’s guillotine and logical positivism, and shows how they form the basis for Robbins’ understanding of value neutrality. It connects philosophers’ rejection of logical positivism to their rejection of the positive-normative distinction, explains and modifies Putnam’s view of fact-value entanglement, and identifies four main ethical value judgments that contemporary economists employ. The behavioral explanation of economists’ denial of these value judgments emphasizes loss aversion and economists’ social identity as economists

Comments

Published Version. "Economists' Odd Stand on the Positive-Normative Distinction: A Behavioral Economics View", in Handbook on Professional Economic Ethics: View from the Economics Profession and Beyond. Eds. G. DeMartino and D. McCloskey. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2013. DOI. © Oxford University Press 2013. Used with permission.

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Economics Commons

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