Homo economicus and the reconstruction of political economy: six theses on the role of values in economics

Tsakalotos, Euclid
November 2005
Cambridge Journal of Economics;Nov2005, Vol. 29 Issue 6, p893
Academic Journal
This paper argues for an explicit engagement of political economy with values, and presents a number of criticisms of the ethical limitations of both markets and neoclassical economics. Neoclassical theory is unlikely to be able to take on board this critique because of its commitment to Homo economicus and the ideal of the market. But this is not the case for political economy in the tradition of post-Keynesianism, Marxism and institutionalism. The reason why political economy has not exploited this advantage to any great extent has to do with the fear of many political economists that an engagement with values necessarily diminishes the scientific status of their approach. The paper presents six theses in order to convince them that this fear is fundamentally misconceived.


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