Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Value Free Economics

Should economics be free of values? By this we mean moral values or political values, rather than measurement values like inches or ounces.

Why does macroeconomics seem to be so bound up in politics? Is it because we deal with the entire national economy, rather than individual markets? Is it because we deal with very complicated concepts, trying to think about millions of people making billions of decisions?

In economics we have a distinction between positive and normative economics, where the former aims at being objective, giving a description of things, while the latter provides a perspective on whether something should happen - hence is objective and allows politics or ethics or morals to enter. If we are moral beings, why should we attempt to make economics amoral? Can we even manage it?

All these things and more you might discuss on your blog, and in your first class for econ101b in the next couple of weeks...

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