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The efficient drowning of a nation: Is economics education warping gifted minds and eroding human prospects?

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Abstract

Humanity has put itself in great peril, as the impending demise of the nation of Kiribati due to global warming illustrates. This failure to act is in part due to the influence of mainstream economics. Economics is a challenging discipline that attracts many gifted individuals. Yet during their training, mainstream economists adopt, often unwittingly and despite believing their profession to be exemplar of objectivity and dispassionate analysis, a deeply problematic ethical framework and worldview. This is shown by examining the analysis that mainstream economists have contributed to policy discussions on global warming, the profession's unfailing devotion to economic growth, and the evaluative criterion that underlies so much economic theorizing and analysis, namely economic efficiency. This chapter then explores how it is that the many gifted individuals who have become economists, often out of concern for the disadvantaged, could have been educated and socialized to adopt uncritically a morally problematic analytical framework and to provide analysis and policy advice with little reflection on its moral implications. Some changes to economics education might provide gifted future economists more sophisticated ethical bearings and improve the likelihood that their skills will contribute to finding more equitable and sustainable solutions to the pressing ecological and social problems confronting humanity. © 2009 Springer-Verlag US.

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APA

Green, T. L. (2009). The efficient drowning of a nation: Is economics education warping gifted minds and eroding human prospects? In Morality, Ethics, and Gifted Minds (pp. 89–104). Springer US. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-0-387-89368-6_6

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