On Sleeping Too Well

George F. DeMartino

in The Economist’s Oath

Published in print January 2011 | ISBN: 9780199730568
Published online September 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780199896776 | DOI:
On Sleeping Too Well

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This chapter begins to explore the content of the proposed field of professional economic ethics. It examines a range of ethical challenges that academic and applied economist face in their work, and proposals that might help economists respond to these challenges. The chapter focuses on econometric and experimental economics research, including the new field of randomized controlled trials; and then turns to issues that arise in both academic and applied work. These include the need to give regard to the prudential principle while nevertheless moving beyond it to ensure prior informed consent of those the economist purports to serve; and capacity enhancement to promote the ability of impoverished communities to risk innovation. Moreover, professional economic ethics must emphasize the ethical virtue of humility and the imperative facing the profession to promote pluralism. Finally, the profession must consider institutional reforms that will ensure a deepening commitment to professional ethics.

Keywords: ethical principles; econometrics; experimental economics; randomized controlled trials; prudential principle; autonomy; capacity enhancement; humility; pluralism; ethical review boards

Chapter.  14594 words. 

Subjects: Public Economics

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