In contemporary non-mainstream economic debate, it is widely
thought that the functioning of a market economy needs a set of
rules (i.e. institutions) which bind agents in their behaviour,
allowing efficient outcomes. This idea is contrary to the General
Equilibrium Model (GEM) where markets are pictured as working in an
institutional vacuum and where social and historical variables play
no role. However, in more recent times, a large group of economists
have begun to insert social and moral variables into standard
models based on the rational choice paradigm, following the
increasing interest -- on the part of firms -- in the possible
positive effects of adopting ethical codes. In this key new text
Guglielmo Davanzati studies this burgeoning view that ethics and
economics can be compatible. Does 'morality' affect income
distribution? And, if so, what are the effects of the widespread
adoption of ethical codes on the functioning of the labour market?
Central to Davanzati's efforts is the thesis that the roots of
these new developments can be traced back to the pioneering work of
Thorstein Veblen and John Bates Clark.Utilizing their contrasting
works, Davanzati's text illuminates the propagation of ethical
codes within the two opposing frameworks i.e. the neoclassical and
the institutional. Davanzati's important book will be an invaluable
reference for readers interested in history of economic thought,
economics and moral philosophy.
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