Volume LII 2 - 2018
On the Relationship between Economics and Ethics
Mark D. White, pp. 45-56
Economics and ethics have been linked since the days of Adam Smith, but this connection became tenuous after the formalization of economic theory in the twentieth century, the success of which in academia, government, and business serves to insulate it from ethical critique. Nonetheless, a field of “economics and ethics” has developed to restore this connection, albeit in two directions with disparate methodological approaches: one applying mainstream economic theory, primarily based in utilitarian ethics, to topics of ethical concern, and the other incorporating alternate forms of ethics, such as deontology and virtue ethics, to enrich economic analysis.