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Philosophy of Economics

Edited by Anna Alexandrova (Cambridge University)
Assistant editor: Jack Wright (Cambridge University)
About this topic
Summary Philosophy of economics is a study of any philosophical issue that arises in connection with the discipline of economics. Currently it has three core areas: foundations, methodology and ethics. Foundations of economics encompass conceptual and metaphysical questions such as the nature of rationality and social ontology, seeking to clarify what we study when we study economics (preferences, individuals, institutions, societies etc?) and their properties and relations to each other. Methodology of economics, following on the traditional questions in philosophy of science, is concerned with the nature of knowledge that can be attained about the economy and its sources.  The ethical side of philosophy of economics is a study of normative issues such as justice, efficiency, equality, welfare, paternalism, coercion and such, that arise at the intersection of political philosophy and welfare economics.
Key works Daniel Hausman is responsible for kickstarting much of contemporary philosophy of economics. Hausman 2008 is a comprehensive encyclopedia article. Hausman 2008 is an anthology of classic essays from to J.S Mill and Marx to the present day. Hausman 2006 is a seminal study of normative assumptions in economics and their critical study. Hausman 1992 started and still informs many discussions in methodology of economics. Reiss 2009 presents an updated agenda. Mäki 2001 is a collection on the ontology of economics.
Introductions There is now a textbook in philosophy of economics: Reiss 2013. Other good introductions to philosophy of economics are just introductions to philosophy of social science: for example, Rosenberg 1995, Risjord 2014, and Elster 2007.
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See also:History/traditions: Philosophy of Economics
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  1. C. P. A. (1957). The Capitalist Revolution. [REVIEW] Review of Metaphysics 11 (2):342-342.
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  2. M. A. (1969). Studies in Philosophy, Politics, and Economics. [REVIEW] Review of Metaphysics 22 (3):569-570.
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  3. Leticia Arroyo Abad & Kareem Khalifa (2015). What Are Stylized Facts? Journal of Economic Methodology 22 (2):143-156.
    Economists use the term ‘stylized fact’ in many contexts, though the meaning of this phrase and the motivation for using such a concept is unclear. In this paper, we provide a philosophical analysis of stylized facts, which aims to be methodologically interesting and useful. While our framework applies to all principled uses of stylized facts, we illustrate its core features by applying it to Nicholas Kaldor's initial and exemplary use of stylized facts in growth economics.
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  4. Klaus Abbink, Abdolkarim Sadrieh & Shmuel Zamir (2004). Fairness, Public Good, and Emotional Aspects of Punishment Behavior. Theory and Decision 57 (1):25-57.
    We report an experiment on two treatments of an ultimatum minigame. In one treatment, responders’ reactions are hidden to proposers. We observe high rejection rates reflecting responders’ intrinsic resistance to unfairness. In the second treatment, proposers are informed, allowing for dynamic effects over eight rounds of play. The higher rejection rates can be attributed to responders’ provision of a public good: Punishment creates a group reputation for being “tough” and effectively “educate” proposers. Since rejection rates with informed proposers drop to (...)
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  5. Mohammed Abdellaoui (2005). Editorial Statement. Theory and Decision 58 (1):1-2.
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  6. D. M. Acevedo, A. Y. Amoateng, I. Kalule-Sabiti, P. Ditlopo, S. Rajaram, T. S. Sunil, L. K. Zottarelli, N. Krieger, V. V. Shakhtarin & A. F. Tsyb (2003). The Impact of Economic Restructuring on Female Employment. Labor Policy and Interactions Between Government and Economy. Journal of Biosocial Science 35 (7):19-23.
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  7. Thomas Achatz & Franz Haslinger (1980). Economics Vs. Moral Philosophy: Comment. Theory and Decision 12 (3):279-288.
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  8. S. Adam (1980). Global Problems and the Development of Planning and Prognostic. Filosoficky Casopis 28 (6):882-904.
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  9. Matthew D. Adler (2014). Extended Preferences and Interpersonal Comparisons: A New Account. Economics and Philosophy 30 (2):123-162.
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  10. Philipp Aerni (forthcoming). 1.2 Learning From the Past: How to Bring Ethics and Economics in Line with the Real Nature of the Human Being. Common Knowledge: The Challenge of Transdisciplinarity.
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  11. Joseph Agassi (2009). Popper's Insights Into the State of Economics. In Zuzana Parusniková & R. S. Cohen (eds.), Rethinking Popper. Springer 357--368.
  12. Maria Sophia Aguirre (1999). El Tomismo En la Filosofía Contemporánea de la Economía. Review of Metaphysics 52 (3):670-671.
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  13. Douglas Ainslie (1915). Philosophy of the Practical, Economic and Ethic. Philosophical Review 24 (3):321-325.
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  14. Anna Alexandrova (2009). No Title Available: Reviews. Economics and Philosophy 25 (3):371-378.
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  15. Andrew Altman (1996). Arguing About Law an Introduction to Legal Philosophy. Monograph Collection (Matt - Pseudo).
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  16. S. M. Amadae & Daniel Lempert (forthcoming). The Long-Term Viability of Team Reasoning. Journal of Economic Methodology:1-17.
    Team reasoning gives a simple, coherent, and rational explanation for human cooperative behavior. This paper investigates the robustness of team reasoning as an explanation for cooperative behavior, by assessing its long-run viability. We consider an evolutionary game theoretic model in which the population consists of team reasoners and ‘conventional’ individual reasoners. We find that changes in the ludic environment can affect evolutionary outcomes, and that in many circumstances, team reasoning may thrive, even under conditions that, at first glance, may seem (...)
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  17. Jack Amariglio, Stephen Resnick & Richard Wolff (1990). Division and Difference in the "Discipline" of Economics. Critical Inquiry 17 (1):108.
    The existence and unity of a discipline called economics reside in the eye and mind of the beholder. The perception of economics's unity and disciplinarity itself arises in some, but not all, of the different schools of thought that we would loosely categorize as economic. Indeed, as we hope to show, the presumption of unity and disciplinarity—the idea that there is a center or “core” of propositions, procedures, and conclusions or a shared historical “object” of theory and practice—is suggested in (...)
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  18. Jahangir Amuzegar (forthcoming). Economic Systems in Search of Nations. Social Research.
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  19. Paul Anand (2011). No Title Available: Reviews. Economics and Philosophy 27 (2):175-179.
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  20. Paul Anand (2005). Book Review. [REVIEW] Economics and Philosophy 21 (1):139-142.
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  21. Nejat Anbarci (1998). Simple Characterizations of the Nash and Kalai/Smorodinsky Solutions. Theory and Decision 45 (3):255-261.
    In this study we introduce two new properties, the Midpoint Outcome on a Linear Frontier (MOLF) and Balanced Focal Point (BFP) properties, to replace the Weak Pareto Optimality (WPO), Symmetry (SYM) and Independence of Equivalent Utility Representations (IEUR) properties in the axiomatic characterizations of the two most prominent solution concepts, namely the Nash and Kalai/Smorodinsky solutions, respectively.
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  22. Elizabeth Anderson (1995). Book Review. [REVIEW] Economics and Philosophy 11 (1):182-189.
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  23. Elizabeth Anderson (1995). No Title Available: Reviews. Economics and Philosophy 11 (1):182-189.
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  24. Elizabeth Anderson (1995). Review of Amartyn Sen's "Inequality Reexamined". [REVIEW] Economics and Philosophy 11:182.
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  25. Joel Anderson (2010). No Title Available: Reviews. Economics and Philosophy 26 (3):369-376.
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  26. John Anderson (1927). A Study in Social Economics: The Hunter River Valley. [REVIEW] Australasian Journal of Philosophy 5:233.
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  27. William P. Anderson (2004). Mises Versus Weber on Bureaucracy and Sociological Method. Journal of Libertarian Studies 18:1-30.
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  28. C. Andreou (1998). James R. Wible, The Economics of Science: Methodology and Epistemology as If Economics Really Mattered. International Studies in the Philosophy of Science 12 (3):281.
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  29. Erik Angner (2015). How Economists Work and Think. Journal of Economic Methodology 22 (2):247-248.
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  30. Jonny Anomaly, Geoffrey Brennan, Michael Munger & Geoffrey Sayre-McCord (2015). Philosophy, Politics, & Economics. Oxford University Press.
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  31. Murphey Antoine (forthcoming). Richard Cantillon, Banker and Economist. Journal of Libertarian Studies.
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  32. D. Archard (forthcoming). David Copp, Jean Hampton and John E. Roemer (Eds), The Idea of Democracy. Radical Philosophy.
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  33. David Archard (1998). Book Review. [REVIEW] Economics and Philosophy 14 (2):362-368.
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  34. David Archard (1998). No Title Available: Reviews. Economics and Philosophy 14 (2):362-368.
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  35. Philip Arestis, Andrew Brown & Malcolm Sawyer (2003). 13 Critical Realism and the Political Economy of the Euro. In Paul Downward (ed.), Applied Economics and the Critical Realist Critique. Routledge 233.
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  36. Thomas Aristotle, Robert Taylor & Wilks (1811). The Great, and Eudemian, Ethics, the Politics, and Economics, of Aristotle. Translated From the Greek. Printed for the Translator, ... By Robert Wilks,.
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  37. Richard J. Arneson (1996). No Title Available: Reviews. Economics and Philosophy 12 (1):89-95.
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  38. N. Scott Arnold (2000). Book Review. [REVIEW] Economics and Philosophy 16 (2):333-378.
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  39. N. Scott Arnold (1990). Economists and Philosophers as Critics of the Free Enterprise System. The Monist 73 (4):621-641.
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  40. Raymond Aron (1937). La Sociologie de Pareto. Studies in Philosophy and Social Science 6:489.
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  41. Max Ascoli (forthcoming). A Note of Dissent on" Economics Today". Social Research.
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  42. Max Ascoli (forthcoming). Society Through Pareto's Mind. Social Research.
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  43. Sam Ashman (2012). Economics and Political Economy Today: Introduction to the Symposium on Fine and Milonakis. Historical Materialism 20 (3):3-8.
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  44. A. B. Atkinson (2008). Welfare Economics and Giving for Development. In Kaushik Basu & Ravi Kanbur (eds.), Arguments for a Better World: Essays in Honor of Amartya Sen: Volume I: Ethics, Welfare, and Measurement and Volume Ii: Society, Institutions, and Development. OUP Oxford
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  45. Anthony B. Atkinson (1993). What is Happening to the Distribution of Income in the UK? Proceedings of the British Academy 82:317-351.
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  46. Henry G. Aubrey (forthcoming). The Political Economy of International Monetary Reform. Social Research.
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  47. Linda Marilyn Austin (1991). The Practical Ruskin Economics and Audience in the Late Work. Monograph Collection (Matt - Pseudo).
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  48. Adi Ayal, Economic Rhetoric: Economics and Literature in Legal Analysis.
    ATA v. Schwartz is a classic torts case in Israeli caselaw. It has a large-factory villian creating noise pollution, a lone neighbor turning to the courts for protection, and three judicial decisions upholding the citizen's right to close down the factory when the latter cannot meet the ordinance's standard. Furthermore, it is the first case the Israeli Supreme Court dealt with arguments explicitly based on Coase, Calabresi and Posner - utterly rejecting them. The case has been used to explain that (...)
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  49. Robert U. Ayres (1998). Turning Point an End to the Growth Paradigm.
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  50. H. B. (1971). Economía Política y Lucha Social. Review of Metaphysics 24 (3):533-533.
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