Aug 28, 2012

Self-Interest, Rationality and a Better Life

I liked this video: An interview with Preston Jones. Preston is a professor of History at John Brown University. There are many topics, and I thought about the link between "a better life" as an individual and "economic development." 

I wonder why one does not see much ethics in economic studies of prosperity. I read a lot about social change, but not much emphasis is given to moral change or ethical change. I am referring to values (or norms), which are essential for compliance with the law [double-enter if the link does not work]. Some exceptions are McCloskey's work and Buchanan's [let me know if you know others]. May be we need more ethics to understand economic development, and  to understand how ethical change interacts with cultural change. This might be pretty obvious for you, but the question is then, how can we promote ethical change? If ethical change is at the center of escaping poverty why we do not see many development programs that do exactly that?

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