Economics: From the Dismal Science to the Moral Science: The Moral Economics of Kendall P. Cochran

PDF Version Also Available for Download.

Description

Adam Smith published The Theory of Moral Sentiments in 1759 and established the ethical foundation for The Wealth of Nations (1776) as well as the important role played by custom and fashion in shaping behaviors and outcomes. Kendall P. Cochran believed in Smith’s emphasis on value-driven analysis and seeking solutions to major problems of the day. Cochran believed that economists moved too far in the direction of analysis free of words like ought and should and devoted his career to establishing that economics is a moral science. A recent study by two Harvard professors, Carmen Reinhart and Kenneth Rogoff, Growth ... continued below

Physical Description

xii, 254 p.

Creation Information

Cochran, Kendall P. January 2015.

Context

This book is part of the collection entitled: Aquiline Books and one other and was provided by UNT Libraries to Digital Library, a digital repository hosted by the UNT Libraries. It has been viewed 461 times , with 23 in the last month . More information about this book can be viewed below.

Who

People and organizations associated with either the creation of this book or its content.

Publisher

Named Person

Person who is significant in some way to the content of this book. Additional names may appear in Subjects below.

Rights Holders

For guidance see Citations, Rights, Re-Use.

  • Dadres,Susan McHargue
  • Hersh-Cochran, Mona S.
  • Cochran, Kendall P.
  • Molina, David J.

Provided By

UNT Libraries

Library facilities at the University of North Texas function as the nerve center for teaching and academic research. In addition to a major collection of electronic journals, books and databases, five campus facilities house just under six million cataloged holdings, including books, periodicals, maps, documents, microforms, audiovisual materials, music scores, full-text journals and books. A branch library is located at the University of North Texas Dallas Campus.

Contact Us

What

Descriptive information to help identify this book. Follow the links below to find similar items on the Digital Library.

Description

Adam Smith published The Theory of Moral Sentiments in 1759 and established the ethical foundation for The Wealth of Nations (1776) as well as the important role played by custom and fashion in shaping behaviors and outcomes. Kendall P. Cochran believed in Smith’s emphasis on value-driven analysis and seeking solutions to major problems of the day. Cochran believed that economists moved too far in the direction of analysis free of words like ought and should and devoted his career to establishing that economics is a moral science.

A recent study by two Harvard professors, Carmen Reinhart and Kenneth Rogoff, Growth in a Time of Debt (2010), asserted that healthy economic growth and high levels of government debt are incompatible. These conclusions are associated with the austerity movement, which calls for policymakers to reduce government spending in order to reduce the government’s debt and improve long-term growth prospects. The austerity movement has been used to justify the sharp decline in public sector employment that has restrained job growth since the recession of 2007.

In 2013, a graduate student named Thomas Herndon discovered an error in the calculations of Reinhart and Rogoff, publishing his findings in a paper co-authored by his professors, called "Does High Public Debt Consistently Stifle Economic Growth? A Critique of Reinhart and Rogoff." These findings call the entire austerity movement into question, causing many to reconsider the current obsession with reducing the government debt during a time of economic stagnation. Cochran would have held a celebration to toast Herndon and his professors for their work, not only for the sake of technical accuracy, but also because the policy prescriptions associated with the austerity movement are misguided and harmful to the unemployed and underemployed during times of economic hardship.

Cochran’s articles are significant at this time because he is able to argue persuasively that economists have a moral obligation to provide policy recommendations that are consistent with a social agenda of fairness and opportunity. While many agree with Adam Smith that individuals are motivated by self-interest, it does not follow that any action or policy that promotes an individual’s self-interest is therefore worthwhile or beneficial from society’s perspective. If a person is handsomely rewarded for placing a bomb in the city center, does the potential gain for that individual justify the harm to society? Cochran makes an eloquent case that economists must identify instances in which government policy can and should be used to protect and promote society’s well-being.

Physical Description

xii, 254 p.

Notes

University of North Texas Libraries, Eagle Editions

Language

Item Type

Identifier

Unique identifying numbers for this book in the Digital Library or other systems.

Collections

This book is part of the following collections of related materials.

Aquiline Books

Aquiline Books (formerly Eagle Editions) is an imprint of the UNT Libraries designed for works of scholarship, both new and reissued, from the UNT community. All publications from Aquiline Books are freely available to read online in this collection.

General Collection

Drawn from collections at the UNT Libraries and various contributing partners, these materials cover a broad range of subject matter.

What responsibilities do I have when using this book?

When

Dates and time periods associated with this book.

Creation Date

  • January 2015

Added to The UNT Digital Library

  • Nov. 13, 2014, 7:28 a.m.

Description Last Updated

  • Dec. 17, 2014, 12:55 p.m.

Usage Statistics

When was this book last used?

Yesterday: 0
Past 30 days: 23
Total Uses: 461

Interact With This Book

Here are some suggestions for what to do next.

Start Reading

PDF Version Also Available for Download.

Citations, Rights, Re-Use

Purchase a Copy

Cochran, Kendall P. Economics: From the Dismal Science to the Moral Science: The Moral Economics of Kendall P. Cochran, book, January 2015; Denton, Texas. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc407882/: accessed March 28, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; .