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Economics and the VirtuesBuilding a New Moral Foundation$
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Jennifer A. Baker and Mark D. White

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9780198701392

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: March 2016

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198701392.001.0001

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On Virtue Economics

On Virtue Economics

Chapter:
(p.119) Chapter 6 On Virtue Economics
Source:
Economics and the Virtues
Author(s):

Michael Baurmann

Geoffrey Brennan

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198701392.003.0007

This chapter makes a case for economists taking account of agent virtue in their models, on the grounds that doing so both broadens the normative base that economists standardly deploy and adds explanatory power in many settings of interest to economists. After distinguishing three different ways in which virtue might be included in economic analysis—virtue as intrinsically valuable, virtue as derivatively valuable, and virtue as fact—we examine the relevance of virtue to three topics: invisible hand mechanisms, the role of esteem in individual motivations, and the use of selection and allocation mechanisms in institutional design. We try to explain why each of these topics is relevant to the study of virtue.

Keywords:   invisible hand explanations, esteem, selection, institutional design, normative frameworks

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