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Editor: Róbinson Rojas Sandford
On Planning for Development: Ethics, Development and Economics

Texts (1) to (9), highly recommended, embody the main conceptual framework for my teaching on
a) The Developmental State: Planning for Development (UCL/DPU),
b) Urban Development and Economics (UCL/DPU),
c) Theories and Perspectives on Environment and Development (LSBU/EfS).
(Dr. Róbinson  Rojas Sandford)


From The Journal of Philosophical Economics, V:1 , 54-73, 2007

On Ethics and the Economics of Development

Mozaffar Qizilbash - 2007

This paper examines the implications of some of the growing literature at the borderline of ethics and economics for development debates. It argues that this literature has already had considerable impact on development economics, particularly as a result of work on well-being and capabilities. Other areas where there has been considerable growth include population ethics and the area which explores the link between the contractarian tradition in moral philosophy and game theory. Work here has had less impact on development economics, and there is considerable scope for more work. Finally, both ethics and economics have been criticised for taking too abstract a view of human beings. Each has begun to take on this line of criticism and work which responds to it in various ways – such as by taking account of issues relating to identity, allowing for hard choices and fuzziness - is relevant to development.


From The Journal of Philosophical Economics, V:1, 5-34, 2011

Ethics and economics, today and in the past

James E. Alvey - 2011

Economics was traditionally viewed as part of a wider study of human things, including ethics. It has drifted away from ethics despite the fact that ethical considerations inevitably form part of economics. After a brief introduction, the second section outlines the state of play in the economics discipline. The third section deals with the ethical crisis of economics today. The fourth section presents two grand narratives of ethics and economics. The fifth section sketches Amartya Sen’s critique of the mainstream and his alternative approach to economics. The sixth section provides some concluding comments.


From Sustainability 2010
Eco-nomics: Are the Planet-Unfriendly Features of Capitalism Barriers to Sustainability?
Merrill Singer

This paper argues that there are essential features of capitalist modes of production, consumption, and waste dispersal in interaction with the environment and its built-in systemic features that contradict long-term sustainable development. These features include:
(a) contradictions in the origin and meaning of sustainability;
(b) the central role of the productivity ethic in capitalism and its reproduction in emergent green capitalism;
(c) the commodification of nature and the continued promotion of expanding consumption;
(d) globalism and the contradictions of continued Western-style development; and
(e) the emergence of anthropogenic ecocrises and crises interaction.
In light of these barriers to capitalist sustainability, an alternative social narrative is needed, one that embraces values, understandings, and relationships that promote ecological stability and justice.


Sustainable Development: Mainstream and Critical Perspectives
Carlos J. Castro - 2004 - University of Oregon - U.S.A.
Published in Organization and Environment 2004; 17; 195
The online version of this article can be found at

"Like democracy and globalization, the concept of sustainable development has become one of the most ubiquitous, contested, and indispensable concepts of our time. Although the concept was first introduced in response to environmental concerns, it has been defined primarily by the mainstream tradition of economic analysis, which tends to marginalize the issue of ecological sustainability itself. Recently, however, scholars advancing various critical perspectives challenged the mainstream economic analysis of sustainable development. This essay examines the presuppositions, logic, and major themes of mainstream sustainable development theory, primarily within economics, and explores the critiques of mainstream analysis offered by various poststructuralist cultural theorists and ecological Marxists.
Although considered to be superior in their greater emphasis on ecological sustainability, neither of these critical approaches is deemed adequate in itself. The argument here instead leads to the conception that an adequate approach to sustainable development requires combining insights from various critical approaches and perspectives.


Ethics of Economic Development

Paper prepared by M.S. Swaminathan Research Foundation
for the Regional Meeting on Ethics of Science and Technology
5-7 November 2003, Bangkok, UNESCO

Regional Unit for Social & Human Sciences in Asia and the Pacific

In simple terms, by ethics we mean moral principles. Economic development deals with the welfare of the people in terms of higher incomes and better standards of living. This may not be equally distributed within nations and across nations. Ethical dimensions of economic development deal with the promotion of morally desirable outcomes, such as equality of opportunity to individuals within the country and across the countries. It implies, in short, more equitable distribution of income, elimination of poverty, hunger, and discrimination of all sorts based on caste, class and gender.
Many economists, starting with Adam Smith, have discussed the ethical dimensions of economic prosperity. Karl Marx, and A.C. Pigou dealt extensively with the ethical dimensions of economic growth. However Simon Kuznets was the first economist to theorize the link between income inequality and economic growth...


Global Development and Environment Institute
Working paper NO. 09-03
Economic Writing on the Pressing Problems of the Day: The Roles of Moral Intuition and Methodological Confusion
Julie A. Nelson - April 2009

Revised version of a paper prepared for presentation at the session, ʺEconomic Writing on the Pressing Issues of the Day: Can Methodology Insulate Us from Ethical Judgments?ʺ sponsored by the International Network for Economic Method, January 2009, San Francisco.

"Economists are often called on to help address pressing problems of the day, yet many economists are uncomfortable about disclosing the values that they bring to this work. This essay explores how an inadequate understanding of the role of methodology, as related to ethics and human emotions of concern, underlies this reluctance and compromises the quality of economic advice. The tension between caring about the problems, on the one hand, and writing within the existing culture of the discipline, on the other, are illustrated with examples from U.S. policymaking, behavioral economics, and the economics of climate change and global poverty. Potential steps towards a more responsible, "strongly objective," and policy-useful economics are discussed."


This report is republished with permission of STRATFOR

The Political Nature of the Economic Crisis
George Friedman - September 30, 2008

Classical economists like Adam Smith and David Ricardo referred to their discipline as “political economy.” Smith’s great work, “The Wealth of Nations,” was written by the man who held the chair in moral philosophy at the University of Glasgow. This did not seem odd at the time and is not odd now. Economics is not a freestanding discipline, regardless of how it is regarded today. It is a discipline that can only be understood when linked to politics, since the wealth of a nation rests on both these foundations, and it can best be understood by someone who approaches it from a moral standpoint, since economics makes significant assumptions about both human nature and proper behavior.
The modern penchant to regard economics as a discrete science parallels the belief that economics is a distinct sphere of existence — at its best when it is divorced from political and even moral considerations. Our view has always been that the economy can only be understood and forecast in the context of politics, and that the desire to separate the two derives from a moral teaching that Smith would not embrace. Smith understood that the word “economy” without the adjective “political” did not describe reality. We need to bear Smith in mind when we try to understand the current crisis.


This report is republished with permission of STRATFOR

The Global Crisis of Legitimacy      
George Friedman - May 4, 2010

Financial panics are an integral part of capitalism. So are economic recessions. The system generates them and it becomes stronger because of them. Like forest fires, they are painful when they occur, yet without them, the forest could not survive. They impose discipline, punishing the reckless, rewarding the cautious. They do so imperfectly, of course, as at times the reckless are rewarded and the cautious penalized. Political crises — as opposed to normal financial panics — emerge when the reckless appear to be the beneficiaries of the crisis they have caused, while the rest of society bears the burdens of their recklessness. At that point, the crisis ceases to be financial or economic. It becomes political.


From Economic and Political Weekly
April 1, 2006
Vol. XLI, no. 13 (pp.1241-6)

Poverty and Capitalism
Barbara Harriss-White - 2006
University Professor of Development Studies; Director of the School of Interdisciplinary Area Studies programme - Faculty of Oriental Studies - University of Oxford

The 21st century has witnessed an impoverishment of the concept of development.

From its start as a project of capitalist industrialisation and agrarian change, the political direction and social transformation that accompany this process – and the deliberate attempt to order and mitigate its necessary ill effects on human beings and their habitats – development has been reduced to an assault on poverty, apparently driven by international aid, trade and financial agencies and festooned in targets. At the same time, the concept of poverty has been enriched by being recognised as having many dimensions – monetary/income poverty, human development poverty, social exclusion and poor peoples’ own understandings developed through participatory interactions [Laderchi et al 2003].

While it may be possible to mitigate poverty through social transfers, it is not possible to eradicate the processes that create poverty under capitalism.

Eight such processes are discussed: the creation of the preconditions; petty commodity production and trade; technological change and unemployment; (petty) commodification; harmful commodities and waste; pauperising crises; climate-change-related pauperisation; and the unrequired, incapacitated and/or dependent human body under capitalism. Ways to regulate these processes and to protect against their impact are discussed.

From Marxists Internet Archive
Che Guevara Internet Archive

Blending ethics, development and economics have been the main task implemented by the Cuban revolution since its beginning in 1960. Among the notes, letters and articles on the subject authored by revolutionaries in Cuba, Ernesto Guevara's are considered as a brilliant pioneering work. I include this link to Guevara's texts to emphasize the notion that the blending of ethics, development and economics is possible only if what we are implementing is socialist ethics, socialist development and socialist economics. ( Dr. Róbinson Rojas Sandford )

From the Real-World Economics Review
Review index
home page
Read Issue No. 52 - 10 March 2010
Papers on economics and ethics:

Sen’s economic philosophy: The revival of economics as a moral science
L. A. Duhs - October 2008

Sen joins a line of economists – including Cropsey, Schumacher, Myrdal, Ward, Higgins and Etzioni – who have objected to the implicit political philosophy within orthodox neo-classical economics. He argues that the good or just society requires policies to remove all forms of “unfreedoms”, and policies to equalise the extent of capability deprivation. This capabilities approach calls for a rejection of utilitarianism, libertarianism and Rawlsianism in favour of the conception of justice provided by his putatively Smithian/Aristotelian approach. In taking the expansion of freedom to be both the principal end and the principal means of development, however, Sen ignores other philosophical positions which lead to quite different conclusions. Accordingly, his argument remains incomplete and unpersuasive, and the most fundamental questions remain to be resolved.

Greed (Part I)
Julian Edney - May 2005

An essay concerning the origins, nature, extent and morality of this destructive force in free market economies. Definitions. Paradoxes and omissions in Adam Smith's original theory permit - encourage - greed without restraint so that in a very large society [USA] over two centuries it has become an undemocratic force creating precipitous inequalities; divisions in this society now approach a kind of wealth apartheid, and our values are quite unlike Smith's: this is an immensely wealthy society but it is not a humane society.
Wealth and poverty are connected, in fact recent sociological theory shows our institutions routinely design inequality in, but this connection is largely avoided in texts and in the media, as is the notion that greed is a moral wrong. Problems created by greed cannot be solved by technology.
We are also distracted by already-outdated environmental rhetoric, arguments that scarcities and human suffering follow from abuse of our ecology. Rather, these scarcities are the result of what people do to people. This focus opens practical solutions.

Greed (Part II)
Julian Edney - July 2005

Adam Smith – the Father of Post-Autistic Economics?
Andrew Sayer - July 2005

In his article on Greed (Part 1, PAE Review, issue no. 31), Julian Edney recycles, with a radical twist, a common myth about Adam Smith’s work that has long been propagated in mainstream economics. According to this myth, Smith saw people as wholly self-interested:
“Adam Smith’s contribution was a step further, to give happiness a mercantile slant. In the new philosophy there is no conspicuous concern with sympathy, compassion, honesty, courage, grace, altruism, charity, beauty, purity, love, care nor honor. It accepts that humans are fundamentally selfish and egoistic and that they don’t care about society-as-a-whole. . . . He simply declared that the selfishness of each man [sic] and the good of society go together. The general welfare is best served by letting each person pursue his own interests.” (Edney, 2005)

When social physics becomes a social problem: economics, ethics and the new order
Juan Pablo Pardo-Guerra - December 2004

In an official speech just a few weeks ago, Inacio Lula Da Silva, the polemical and ever so intriguing President of Brazil, threw hunger and poverty into that fashionable category of ‘weapons of mass destruction.’ Mr. Lula’s words were uttered not in a time of worldwide prosperity but in the midst of an international crisis of pandemic proportions: while global resources become increasingly endangered, the global governance system stands on the verge of collapse as some of the most powerful nations of the world disdain collaboration over intervention, concordance over imposition and dialogue over unilateralism. On the economic side of this dire picture, an important sector of the world’s population has been driven to take to the streets to manifest its discontent with the surge in global inequality, often attributed to the malformed policies of organizations such as the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund.
In contrast and following the long tradition of economic thought that has permeated the West for generations, the heads of these same global organizations blame countries like Brazil, the home of Mr. Lula, for not adapting their domestic policies to the demands of these liberal times we live in. If this were only an inoffensive divergence in worldviews, nothing important would be at stake. However, at the core of this discussion lies the fate of millions of people, from the marginalized citizens of Michael Moore’s suburban USA to the famished refugees in Sudan.

Capabilities and Indeterminacy
Gautam Mukerjee - August 2004

Emmanuelle Benicourt recently initiated an interesting debate by questioning the view that Amartya Sen has made significant contributions to post-autistic economics. This counters the popular position that Sen goes far beyond the conventional confines of welfare economics and liberal philosophy, thereby overcoming the limitations of the neoclassical economic mainstream.
Ingrid Robeyns (2002), for instance, considers Sen’s idea of capabilities to be a consistent normative framework that ‘effectively links commodities, observable outcomes and unobservable opportunities’, offering thereby a far broader analytical scope than found in neoclassical economics. Benicourt challenges that view with the argument that the plurality of focus inherent in capabilities, not only precludes consistency on the normative front but renders the approach ‘ nonoperational for policy-makers’ (Benicourt 2004).
In contrast, Jorge Buzaglo (2003), while not denying that Sen’s capabilities approach has neoclassical roots, finds it to be a ‘radical-progressive’ variant, especially as he sees in capabilities an exploration of ‘the preferences of the mind’ in the Spinozian fashion.
Benicourt takes exception to that position as well, by pointing out that Sen does not venture too far from the theoretical perimeter of the Arrow-Debreu model nor does he abandon the idea of society contained therein; in fact, his failureto completely escape the ‘enchanting power of markets’ is evident from the seemingly contradictory positions he assumes regarding the role of the state vis-ŕ-vis markets in addressing the human plight (Benicourt 2004).

Amartya Sen Again
Emmanuelle Benicourt - March 2005

In issue 15 of this journal, I argued that Sen was a neoclassical economist, and questioned why heterodox economists considered his “capability approach” as a real force in post-autistic economics. Two responses have appeared.
First, Ingrid Robeyns argued that the view according to which the capability approach is undeniably neoclassical, just a variation of standard economics, is “fundamentally mistaken” (i.e., Sen is not neoclassical). Second, Jorge Buzaglo admitted Sen was neoclassical, but argued that he was a radical-progressive economist (i.e., Sen applies the conventional apparatus to the advancement of a progressive cause). Curiously, these responses are contradictory.  I will examine each in turn.

Capabilities: From Spinoza to Sen and Beyond
Part I : Spinoza’s Theory of Capabilities

Jorge Buzaglo - June 2003

In a recent article in this review, Emmanuelle Benicourt (2002) challenges heterodox economists to explain why they consider Amartya Sen’s theoretical approach a real force for reform in economics. I would like to communicate here what I see as a real force for change in Amartya Sen’s approach to the economic dimension of human development. I would like to describe some of the genealogy of the approach, and also to show the potential that this critical tradition has for the renewal of economics.
Before I embark in my task I would like to refer to Emmanuelle Benicourt’s orthodox/heterodox partition of economics, which I do not think is very useful. Both categories are too heterogeneous to be helpful. If we consider what I think is a more useful categorization, that between conventional and progressive economics (or similar characterizations, such as conservative/radical, bourgeois/socialist, etc.), we will find orthodox and heterodox economists in both categories. Amartya Sen, for instance, is an orthodox economist, as both he and Emmanuelle Benicourt point out (Amartya Sen says “mainstream economist”). He is an orthodox economist because he uses the conventional apparatus of ordinary neoclassical theory.
But as I see it, he is a progressive orthodox economist, since he applies this conventional apparatus to the advancement of a progressive cause, namely, the cause of equality. The equality he advocates is not merely economistic/utilitarian, but refers also to all other dimensions (“functionings”) of human existence. A quite radical message indeed, articulated in the suave and diplomatic language of neoclassical economics. One can only speculate if this is an Aesopian strategy of telling subversive truths in covered language, or if it would be better or more effective to develop a more appropriate heterodox idiom to say the same thing. But it must be admitted that many a heterodox economist would shy away from so radical an objective for economic science and human development.

Capabilities: From Spinoza to Sen and Beyond
Part II: A Spinoza-Sen Economics Research Program

Jorge Buzaglo - September 2003

The view of the economy as a causally structured, directly observable system of relationships existing in time has deep roots and lively ramifications in economic theory. One of the oldest sources of this view is the Tableau Économique of François Quesnay (published in 1766). For Quesnay, the chief question for investigation was what causes the wealth of the nation, and how this wealth circulates between "la classe productive, la classe des propriétaires and  la classe stérile."
The Tableau is the first sophisticated analysis of the flow of value through the economy and among social classes. This focus on value creation and distribution was characteristic of the classical economists, including Marx, and could be seen as the permanent characteristic of a wide strand of economics that flourishes still today. This wide current includes nowadays post- and neo- Keynesian ( Kaleckian) economics, Sraffrian and neo-Ricardian economics, input-output economics, and (non-interactionist) post- and neo-Marxian economics. But what from the Spinoza-Sen perspective is still lacking in all these theoretical approaches is how output and distribution relate to capabilities. These theories focus on the growth and distribution of output and incomes, but not on how they influence the growth and distribution of human capabilities. These theories describe production and distribution/exploitation in the system where “the accumulation of capital is God and the prophets.” We should also analyse systems operating towards expanding human capabilities.

Ethics and Economic Actors
Charles K. Wilber - September 2003

Economics and ethics are interrelated because both economists (theorists and policy advisers) and economic actors (sellers, consumers, workers, investors) hold ethical values that help shape their behavior. In the first case economists must try to understand how their own values affect both economic theory and policy. In the second case this means economic analysis must broaden its conception of human behavior.
In a previous article in this journal I dealt with the first issue. In this article I will focus on the importance of the second issue-- economic theory, with its myopic focus on self-interest, obscures the fact that preferences are formed not only by material self-interest but also by ethical values, and that market economies require that ethical behavior for efficient functioning.

Ethics In Economic Theory
Charles K. Wilber - June 2003

Economics and ethics are interrelated because both economists (theorists and policy advisers) and economic actors (sellers, consumers, workers) hold ethical values that help shape their behavior. In the first case economists must try to understand how their own values affect both economic theory and policy. In the second case this means economic analysis must broaden its conception of human behavior.
In this article I will focus on the first of these two issues-- economists construct theory upon a particular world view, resulting in basic concepts, such as efficiency, being value-laden.

In Defence of Amartya Sen
Ingrid Robeyns - December 2002

Sen’s capability approach has its roots both in welfare economics (Sen 1985, 1987), where it was the logical extension of his earlier work on the informational poverty of utilitarian calculus (e.g. Sen 1979), as well as in the philosophical literature on inequality (1980), where it was proposed as an alternative to both the utilitarian and the resourcist paradigms. The capability approach advocates that in making evaluations of well-being or policies, we focus on what people can do and be, instead of exclusively on their mental states (utilitarianism) or on the goods that they have at their disposal (resourcism). Over time, Sen and others have extended the scope of the capability approach to study such divers issues as development and development ethics (Gasper 1997, Sen 1999), the evaluation of small-scale NGO-projects (Alkire 2002), eating disorders and famines (Lavaque-Manty 2001), unemployment and inactivity (Burchardt 2002), gender inequality in western societies (Robeyns 2002), to mention just a few.
At this moment PhD students are using the capability framework to study topics such as well-being of disabled people, environmental law and climate change, and the impact of a financial crisis on people’s well-being. The Human Development Report, which is currently (one of) the strongest alternative frameworks to the neoliberalist “Washington consensus”, is largely based on the normative foundations of Sen’s capability approach. In other words, the capability approach has gradually developed into a paradigm, which moves between and beyond existing disciplines, and which is applied in many more domains than only welfare economics or liberal philosophy.

Social being as a problem for an ethical economics
Jamie Morgan - October 2002

Orthodox economics conspicuously lacks a satisfying account of social being and is thus unable to provide a practical starting point in addressing many of the problems of being that humanity now confronts. It is theoretically impoverished and practically bereft. As PAE and previous forums have shown, the current orthodoxy of economics is neither explanatorily powerful nor is it genuinely scientific. One way of showing this is to explore how its science, its method and its power are founded on a series, a cascade, of inversions of dimensions of realisms that corrupt science and method in the name of that power. Those inversions include issues of:

  • The relation between economy and being
  • Synchronous behaviour
  • The ill of being
  • The alienated economist
  • Alienated method
My starting point or primary organising principle is that economics as an explanatorily powerful (and thus scientific) discipline should account for what we live for, but that it is not economics for which we live.

Is Amartya Sen a Post-Autistic Economist?
Emmanuelle Benicourt - September 2002

The numerous reactions to Bernard Guerrien’s essay (“Is There Anything Worth Keeping in Standard Micro-Economics?”, pae review n°12 and n°13) show that there is no consensus among heterodox economists concerning what constitutes “autistic” economics. In this article, I would like to initiate another but parallel debate by questioning the widely held opinion that Amartya Sen has made an important contribution to post-autistic economics. I wonder if he is really, as Geoff Harcourt implies, “a real force for good in our discipline and [if] the award of the Nobel Prize to him is a positive signal, to be embraced, not belittled”.
Before examining Amartya Sen’s theoretical system, let’s recall that he was not awarded the Nobel Prize for his eventual “heterodox” research programme, but for his very mainstream contributions to “standard” economics - particularly for his work on Social Choice (Nobel Press Release, October 14, 1998). The Prize thus mainly concerns Sen’s early work in which he tried to go beyond Arrow’s “Impossibility Theorem” by weakening certain formal – and secondary – conditions (see, for example, Collective Choice and Social Welfare, 1970). The 1998 Nobel Prize, therefore, does not reward Sen’s possible “de- autistification” of economics.

The Economist’s Long Farewell
Robert E. Lane - September 2002

“Farewell! A long farewell to all my greatness.”
Cardinal Wolsey, Henry VIII (III, ii)

D. Crocker - 1997
University of Maryland at College Park
International Development Ethics"

"Although they differ on a number of matters, development ethicists exhibit a wide consensus about the commitments that inform their enterprise, the questions they are posing and the unreasonableness of certain answers. Development ethicists typically ask the following related questions:

- What should count as (good) development?
- Should we continue using the concept of development instead of, for example, 'progress,' 'transformation,' 'liberation,' or 'postdevelopment alternatives to development' (Escobar 1995)?
- What should be a society's basic economic, political and cultural goals and strategies, and what principles should inform their selection?
- What moral issues emerge in development policymaking and practice and how should they be resolved?
- How should the burdens and benefits of development be conceived and distributed?
- Who or what should be responsible for bringing about development? A nation's government, civil society or the market?
- What role—if any— should more affluent states, international institutions, and nongovernmental associations and individuals have in the self-development of poor countries?
- What are the most serious local, national and international impediments to good development?
- To what extent, if any, do moral scepticism, moral relativism, national sovereignty and political realism pose a challenge to this boundary-crossing ethical inquiry?
- Who should decide these questions and by what methods?"

"Development ethics is useless unless it can be translated into public action. By public action is meant action taken by public authority, as well as actions taken by private agents by having important consequences for the life of the public community. The central question is: How can moral guidelines influence decisions of those who hold power?"
(Denis Goulet, The Cruel Choice, 1971)

The Tanner Lectures on Human Values
Beyond the Social Contract: Toward Global Justice
Martha C. Nussbaum
Delivered at Australian National University, Canberra - November 12 and 13, 2002
and at Clare Hall, University of Cambridge - March 5 and 6, 2003

"...The project begins from the assumption that theories of justice in the social-contract tradition are among the strongest theories of justice we currently have. These theories also have an untold inšuence on public policy, often in a simpliŠed and degenerate form. Although such theories— both in the historical tradition and today—are very strong, and although John Rawls’s theory, in particular, is probably the strongest theory of justice we currently have, several aspects of the contract tradition seem problematic when we approach three of the most urgent problems of justice in our time: justice for people with disabilities (especially mental disabilities), justice across national boundaries, and justice for nonhuman animals."
"Rawls himself recognizes that his theory runs up against some difŠcult problems in just these areas. In Political Liberalism he mentions four problems that are difŠcult for his conception of justice to handle: what is owed to people with disabilities (both temporary and permanent, both mental and physical), justice across national boundaries, “what is owed to animals and the rest of nature” (as we shall see, Rawls does not grant that these are issues of justice)..."

Globalization, Economic Development and Inequality
An Alternative Perspective
Edited by Erik S. Reinert - 2004
President, The Other Canon Foundation, formerly at SUM – The Centre for Development and the Environment, University of Oslo, Norway
Edward Elgar Cheltenham, UK • Northampton, MA, USA

It is generally not recognized that two Nobel laureates in economics have provided two conflicting theories of what will happen to world income under globalization:

1. Based on the standard assumptions of neo-classical economic theory, US economist Paul Samuelson ‘proved’ mathematically that unhindered international trade will produce ‘factor-price equalization’, that is that the prices paid to the factors of production – capital and labour – will tend to be the same all over the world.
2. Based in an alternative dynamic tradition – which we here label The Other Canon – Swedish economist Gunnar Myrdal was of the opinion that world trade would tend to increase already existing differences in incomes between rich and poor nations.

We would argue that the second approach easily incorporates the main elements of evolutionary or neo-Schumpeterian economics, but with a broader theoretical and historical perspective and with a broader agenda. The aim of this book is to explore the contributions of today’s evolutionary economics to the understanding of the increasing gap in global income inequality, that is to broaden the normal perspective of neo-Schumpeterian economics consciously into the realm of development economics.

HDR Networks January 2009 Issue 24
Development Ethics and Human Development
Des Gasper - Institute of Social Studies, The Hague

What is ‘development ethics’? ‘Development ethics’ can be seen as comparable to business ethics, medical ethics, environmental ethics and similar areas of practical ethics. Each area of practice generates ethical questions about priorities and procedures, rights and responsibilities. So, first of all, ‘development ethics’ can be seen as a field of attention, an agenda of questions about major value choices involved in processes of social and economic development. What is good or ‘real’ development? How are those benefits and corresponding costs to be shared, within the present generation and between generations? Who decides and how? What rights of individuals should be respected and guaranteed? When— in for example the garment trade, the sex trade, the ‘heart trade’ in care services, and the trade in human organs—should free choice in the market be seen instead as the desperation behaviour of people who have too little real choice ? Besides such issues of policy ethics, come the many ethical issues, stresses and choices in daily professional life and interaction. (Glover 1995, Goulet 1988, and Hamelink 1997 are fuller statements of agendas)

The World Bank's Poverty Reduction Strategy Paper approach: good marketing or good policy?

Jim Levinsohn
Gerald R. Ford School of Public Policy, Department of Economics, and William Davidson Institute, University of Michigan
G-24 Discussion Paper No. 21 - April 2003

This study reviews the Poverty Reduction Strategy Paper (PRSP) approach adopted by the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund in 1999 to guide lending to some of the world's poorest countries.
In what ways does it represent a change in practices and in what ways is it a codification of business-as-usual? The paper then reviews the recent "mid-term" evaluations of the PRSP approach conducted both internally by the Bank and Fund as well as by external organizations. It is argued that neither the internal nor external reviews are asking the really hard questions. To really evaluate the PRSP approach, it is necessary to compare outcomes to what would have happened but for the PRSP's implementation.

Ethics and Values. A Global Perspective

Proceedings of an Associated Event of the Fifth Annual World Bank Conference on Environmentally and Socially Sustainable Development, "Partnerships for Global Ecosystem Management: Science, Economics and Law"
Held at the World Bank
Washington D.C., October 8 , 1997

Ismail Serageldin and Joan Martin-Brown, Editors
The World Bank Washington,D . C.

In a world of rapid globalization communities and countries face complex choices about how human endeavors and the capacities of nature relate. In this context values and ethics, role of science and law, and the relationship of the global ecosystem to local conduct and choices converge.

From Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy
Aristotle's Ethics

Aristotle conceives of ethical theory as a field distinct from the theoretical sciences. Its methodology must match its subject matter—good action—and must respect the fact that in this field many generalizations hold only for the most part. We study ethics in order to improve our lives, and therefore its principal concern is the nature of human well-being. Aristotle follows Socrates and Plato in taking the virtues to be central to a well-lived life. Like Plato, he regards the ethical virtues (justice, courage, temperance and so on) as complex rational, emotional and social skills. But he rejects Plato's idea that a training in the sciences and metaphysics is a necessary prerequisite for a full understanding of our good.
What we need, in order to live well, is a proper appreciation of the way in which such goods as friendship, pleasure, virtue, honor and wealth fit together as a whole. In order to apply that general understanding to particular cases, we must acquire, through proper upbringing and habits, the ability to see, on each occasion, which course of action is best supported by reasons. Therefore practical wisdom, as he conceives it, cannot be acquired solely by learning general rules. We must also acquire, through practice, those deliberative, emotional, and social skills that enable us to put our general understanding of well-being into practice in ways that are suitable to each occasion

Immanuel Kant, 1724-1804
Fundamental Principles of the Metaphysic of Morals
translated by Thomas Kingsmill Abbott

All rational knowledge is either material or formal: the former considers some object, the latter is concerned only with the form of the understanding and of the reason itself, and with the universal laws of thought in general without distinction of its objects. Formal philosophy is called logic. Material philosophy, however, has to do with determinate objects and the laws to which they are subject, is again twofold; for these laws are either laws of nature or of freedom. The science of the former is physics, that of the latter, ethics; they are also called natural philosophy and moral philosophy respectively.

(International Development Ethics Association)

Related themes:
- Ethics, development and economics
- Inequality/social exclusion
- U.S. economic inequality,  poverty, social exclusion and corruption
- Economic inequality, poverty, and social exclusion in Latin America
- Economic Inequality, Poverty, Social Exclusion and Corruption in China
- Poverty - Informal sector
- Microfinance - Aid - PRSP

Education for Sustainability
Postgraduate courses on
Environment and
Development Education at
London South Bank University

- Part time distance learning
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Lecture notes
Notes and papers

Global Value Chains
Integrated International

International Division of

Transnational Corporations
The Triad ( U.S.A, Japan, E.U.)

- Dependency Theory
- Planning for Development
- The Developmental State
- The Neo-liberal State
- Development Economics
- The future of development

- Foreign Direct Investment
- Factor Payments to Abroad
- The New Economy in

- International Trade

Back to Global Economic Prospects for Develeping Countries

--World Investment Reports
---(the complete series)

--World Investment Reports
---(selected statistics)

-- Planning for Development
UNCTAD areas of work:
Globalization and Development
Development of Africa
Least Developed Countries
Landlocked Developing Countries
Small Island Developing States
International Trade and

Services Infrastructure
Investment, Technology and
Enterprise Development

The following databases on-line are available:
Commodity Price Statistics
Foreign Direct Investment
Handbook of Statistics
ICT Statistics
Millennium Indicators

Digital Library:
-- News
-- Main publications
-- UNCTAD Series
-- Basic documents
-- Issues in Brief
-- Newsletters
-- Statistical databases
-- Globalization and
----- Development Strategies

-- Economic Development in
----- Africa

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----- Modules

-- Investment, Technology and
-----Enterprise Development

-- Services Infrastructure for
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----- Efficiency

-- Monographs on Port
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-- Technical Cooperation
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-- Transnational Corporations
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-- Publications Survey 2006-

World indicators on the environment

World Energy Statistics - Time Series

Economic inequality

Other related themes:
- Aid
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- Decentralization
- Dependency theory
- Development
- Development Economics
- Economic Policies
- Employment/Unemployment
- Foreign Direct Investment
- Gender
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- Informal sector
- Labour Market
- Microfinance
- Migration
- Poverty
- Privatization
- State/Civil Society/

- Sustainable Development
- Transnational Corporations
- Urbanization

- Complete list of development themes