Economics as a Moral Science

With Peter Rona (Blackfriars Hall, University of Oxford) and Laszlo Zsolnai edits a book for Springer under the title Economics as a Moral Science to be published in 2017.

The book is an attempt to reclaim economics as a moral science. It argues that ethics is a relevant aspect of all levels of economic activity, from individual and organizational to societal and global. Taking ethical considerations into account is needed in explaining and predicting the behavior of economic agents as well as in evaluating and designing economic policies and mechanisms.

The book employs the personalist approach that sees human persons with free will and conscience as the basic agents of economic life and defines human flourishing as the final end of economic activities. The book intends to demonstrate that economics can gain a lot in meaning and also in analytical power by reuniting itself with ethics. The unique feature of the book is that it not only analyses ethics and economics on an abstract level but puts behavioral, institutional and systemic issues together for a robust and human view of economic functioning. Economic “facts” are interwoven with ethical contents. Utility calculations and moral considerations co-determine economic behavior and outcomes.