Training the “Ethical Economist”

George F. DeMartino

in The Economist’s Oath

Published in print January 2011 | ISBN: 9780199730568
Published online September 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780199896776 | DOI:
Training the “Ethical Economist”

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What would a commitment to professional economic ethics imply for economic education—both at the undergraduate and graduate levels? This chapter examines these issues, and identifies the ethical questions confronting the economist who instructs undergraduate and graduate students. In the undergraduate curriculum, the economist must recognize that s/he is training future consumers of economic services. S/he must therefore weigh his/her obligation to emphasize the limits to economic knowledge and economists’ expertise. At the graduate level, the profession must consider the reforms that might be necessary to train the “ethical economist.” This might entail new curriculum in professional ethics, and courses taught by applied economists. But it might also require internships and apprenticeships that place economic students into the institutions that supply and communities that depend upon economic expertise. It might also entail dual tracks that prepare students for careers within and beyond academia.

Keywords: uncertainty; David Colander; economics of control; muddling through; pluralism; economic curriculum; pedagogy; phronesis; COGEE; internships; apprenticeships; immersions; exposure and dialogue program; Ravi Kanbur

Chapter.  9295 words. 

Subjects: Public Economics

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