Economics & Ethics: Overcoming the ‘Educational Disconnect’

The lack of moral perspectives in economics and business curricula, the ‘educational disconnect’, has been criticized earlier (e.g. Ghoshal 2005; Khurana 2007; Elegido 2009; Hühn 2014). Existing educational materials are in need of revision. Part E of our project has resulted in educational materials that serve to overcome the ‘disconnect’ that currently exists.

Economics Education at University Level

Ethics and Economics; An Introduction to Free Markets, Inequality and Happiness applies economic ethics to evaluate the free market system and enables students to examine the impact of free markets using the three main ethical approaches: utilitarianism, principle-based ethics, and virtue ethics.

Ethics and Economics systematically links empirical research to these ethical questions, with a focus on the core topics of happiness, inequality, and virtues. Each chapter offers a recommended further reading list, and digital supplements include a list of key terms. The final chapter provides a practical method for applying the different ethical approaches to morally evaluate an economic policy proposal and an example of the methodology being applied to a real-life policy.

This book will give students a clear theoretical and methodological toolkit for analyzing the ethics of market policies, making it a valuable resource for courses on economic ethics and economic philosophy.

Philosophy Education in High Schools

The Dutch book ‘The Good Life & the Free Market‘ was written as the official text book for preparing for the Dutch national high school exam in philosophy (a new theme is being put central every couple of years). However, the book is also suitable for a larger group of people interested in the topic. In fact, in its year of publication, 2018, the book won the Dutch Socrates Award for the best public book in philosophy.

On the Moral Markets website we have created a series of blog posts that provides philosophy teachers with additional materials. Each post curates relevant videos and web links for one chapter. Others have also developed materials supplementing the book.

Economics Education in High Schools

The Good Markets project has contributed to an initiative to develop a new method for teaching economics at Dutch High Schools. The method, called ‘Human and Economics’, was developed under guidance of prof. dr. Lans Bovenberg. It enables students to learn economics as it was meant to be in essence: a system where ‘win-win’ is the basis and interest of stakeholders are being balanced.  

The initiative has grown into an extensive network of researchers, economics teachers and other professionals collaborating on further advancing and developing the method. All activities are now part of the Dutch Stichting Innovatie Economie-Onderwijs (Foundation Innovation Economics Education).

Educational Novel

Morality in economic life is key to building trust, trust is key to smooth collaboration. Win, Win, Win; If You Want to Go Far, Go Together explores this thesis in the form of a novel. From the back cover:

“Trusting relationships are key to economics and life: a student wants to win a prestigious business contest with this insight, but must first prevent her team from falling apart.

Discover a mirror on our way of dealing with others that is not always comfortable, but inspiring and ultimately very rewarding.

Buy this book for yourself or as a gift to help people relate together more effectively.”