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Reckoning with MarketsThe Role of Moral Reflection in Economics$
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James Halteman and Edd S. Noell

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780199763702

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2012

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199763702.001.0001

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Expanding and Reorienting the Scope of Economic Thinking

Expanding and Reorienting the Scope of Economic Thinking

Chapter:
(p.149) Chapter 8 Expanding and Reorienting the Scope of Economic Thinking
Source:
Reckoning with Markets
Author(s):

James Halteman

Edd Noell

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199763702.003.0008

This chapter traces efforts to expand the approach of economic thinking to political, legal, social, and religious institutions. Using rational choice analysis, these efforts move the discussion closer to value-laden areas of life. One important concern is the nature of the utility function, how it is formed, and what is utility or happiness?[CE1]Social norms, cooperation models, game theory, behavioral economics, and neuroeconomics all have something to say about human behavior,and they also have important moral ramifications. While some claim that behavioral responses in these cases are merely self-interest disguised, outward behavior seems to work best in the long run if it is heartfelt. Character traits that signal trust are strongest when backed by moral commitments, and there is evidence that human brains are hardwired with some empathetic tendencies. The work of Dan Kahneman and AmartyaSen is highlighted in the closing vignettes.

Keywords:   institutions, utility functions, social norms, game theory, behavioral economics, neuroeconomics, dan kahneman, amartyasen

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