Amartya Sen and the thousand faces of poverty | IADBForgot password? Don't have an account? Amartya Sen has worked tirelessly to establish the importance of ethics in economics. This chapter adds a little to his arguments. Whenever economics tries to determine how the economy ought to be structured or managed, it makes an ethical judgement. But economists use various devices to hide from themselves their need for ethical theory.
Ethics and Economics
Development as Freedom is a book about international development by Indian economist and philosopher Amartya Sen. The American edition of the book was published by Alfred A. Amartya Sen was the winner of the Nobel Prize in Economics. Poverty is characterized by lack of at least one freedom Sen uses the term unfreedom for lack of freedom , including a de facto lack of political rights and choice, vulnerability to coercive relations, and exclusion from economic choices and protections. Based on these ethical considerations, Sen argues that development cannot be reduced to simply increasing basic incomes , nor to rising average per capita incomes. Rather, it requires a package of overlapping mechanisms that progressively enable the exercise of a growing range of freedoms. A central idea of the book is that freedom is both the end and a means to development.
As the reader would agree, economics as a science, in teaching, research and policy, has a very poor record at ethics. According to Ben Fine, Professor of Economics at the University of London, there are five inter-related reasons for this. First, the rigid distinction between positive-theoretical and normative-factual economics. Second, the very methodology of economics is unable to interrogate its own ethical foundations. Third, economics has neglected its own history as a discipline and in the process, its own changing ethical approaches and contents. Fourth, economics has isolated itself from other social sciences, so their contributions to ethical questions have been ignored, and fifth, mainstream economics has always been and is now intolerant with heterodox approaches. In summary, with methodology, history of economic thought, interdisciplinarity and heterodoxy sidelined to marginal status, economics is lacking in the ethical meaning and implications of its standard concepts such as production, consumption, utility and the market, let alone development itself.
Journal of Business Ethics. This article aims at showing the need for a sound ethical and anthropological foundation of economics and business, and argues the importance of a correct understanding of human values and human nature for the sake of economics and of businesses themselves. Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF. In addition, the author would like to thank Francesco Totaro, Gianluca Busilacchi, Julian Rode, and the anonymous referees for their thoughtful comments on earlier versions. Thanks are also due to Sheila Beatty for her linguistic edition of the text.
I s capitalism good? Should we admire hard workers who are motivated to make large profits? Does competition bring out the best in people? These questions juxtapose practices and institutions that economists study capitalism , profits , competition with concepts that ethicists use good, admirable, best. Ethics studies values and virtues. A value is a good to be achieved or a standard of right to be followed, while a virtue is a character trait that enables one to achieve the good or act rightly. For example, a list of core goods might include wealth, love, and freedom.
You are currently using the site but have requested a page in the site. Would you like to change to the site? Amartya K. He brings philosophical arguments to bear where they are needed in economics, and combines them skillfully with formal analysis. Undetected location. NO YES.