The Elephant in the Room: On the Absence of Corporations in Bernard Hodgson's Economics as a Moral Science [Book Review]

Journal of Business Ethics 108 (1):27-35 (2012)
In his book Economics as a Moral Science , Bernard Hodgson argues that economics is not value neutral as is often claimed, but is a value-laden discipline. In the long argument for this in his book, Hodgson never discusses or even mentions corporations. This article explains that corporations are absent from Hodgson’s discussion because he considers only the consumption side of general equilibrium theory (GET), and it shows that if Hodgson had included corporations and the production side, his overall argument would have been more complete and convincing. This article shows that Hodgson’s methodology, when applied to the production side of GET, has value implications for CEOs of large corporations, for shareholders and members of Boards of Directors, and for legislators and regulators of business. Hodgson’s claim that economics must consider the ability of economic agents to create or change the institutional, cultural, and organizational conditions of their own economic actions is supported and expanded.
Keywords Value-laden economics  Corporations  Economic theory  Stockholder theory  Moral science  Neo-classical economics  Rationality
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DOI 10.1007/s10551-011-1084-6
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References found in this work BETA
Thomas Donaldson (1982). Corporations and Morality. Journal of Business Ethics 1 (3):251-253.
Peter A. French (1979). The Corporation as a Moral Person. American Philosophical Quarterly 16 (3):207 - 215.
Denis G. Arnold (2006). Corporate Moral Agency. Midwest Studies in Philosophy 30 (1):279–291.
Kurt Klappholz (1964). Value Judgments and Economics. British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 15 (58):97-114.

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J. J. C. Smart (2005). Comments on Hodgson. Journal of Consciousness Studies 12 (1):58-64.
Shadworth H. Hodgson (1881). Letter of Dr. S. H. Hodgson. Journal of Speculative Philosophy 15 (3):320 - 322.

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