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Codes of Ethics for Economists: A Pluralist View

Dow S (2013) Codes of Ethics for Economists: A Pluralist View, Economic Thought, 2 (1), pp. 20-29.

Within the discussion of ethics and economics some have considered designing a code of ethics for economists. But the idea of such a code is potentially problematic from a pluralist standpoint. Some possibilities are discussed here to show that any code concerning the behaviour of economists presumes a particular view of human nature and thus of professionalism. Further, issues of socio-economic power in the profession pose problems for the interpretation and implementation of some possible principles, notably those referring to standards of competence and truth-seeking. It is therefore concluded that any code of ethics should take the form of general guidelines, with primacy given to the ethics of pluralism: tolerance, even-handedness and open-mindedness, on which the interpretation of all other ethical considerations rests.

code of ethics; epistemology; pluralism

AuthorsDow Sheila
Publication date2013
PublisherWorld Economics Association
ISSN 2049-3509

Economic Thought: Volume 2, Issue 1 (2013)

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