Book Chapter or Section
Economics and ethics are both valuable tools for analyzing the behavior and actions of human beings and institutions. Adam Smith, the father of modern economics, considered them two sides of the same coin, but since economics was formalized and mathematicised in the late 1800s and early 1900s, the fields have largely followed separate paths.
The Oxford Handbook of Ethics and Economics provides a timely and thorough survey of the various ways ethics can, does, and should inform economic theory and practice. The first part of the book, Foundations, explores how the most prominent schools of moral philosophy relate to economics; asks how morals relevant to economic behavior may have evolved; and explains how various approaches to economics incorporate ethics into their work. The second part, Applications, looks at the ethics of commerce, finance, and markets; uncovers the moral dilemmas involved with making decisions regarding social welfare, risk, and harm to others; and explores how ethics is relevant to major topics within economics, such as health care and the environment.
With esteemed contributors from economics and philosophy, The Oxford Handbook of Ethics and Economics is a resource for scholars in both disciplines and those in related fields. It highlights the close relationship between ethics and economics in the past while and lays a foundation for further integration going forward.
Mark D. White, “Introduction,” in Mark D. White (ed.), The Oxford Handbook of Ethics of Economics (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2019), pp. 1-8.