Economics Of Mahavira ► 09 ► [09.20] Livelihood with Religion. Limits to Desires - Effect of Ethics on Economics

Posted: 22.05.2006

All this does not mean that there is a complete absence of ethics in Economics. The economists accepting the virtues of honesty, straightforwardness and the like in the form of factors determining working skills cannot totally ignore morality. Economics and Ethics both are special sciences. Both study human behaviour.

In Economics, the economic aspect of human behaviour and in Ethics, the normative aspects are studied. Ethics presents human norms of behaviour. It tells us what should be our conduct. Ethics provides guidelines for the differentiation between fair and unfair, and tells us what should be done and what should not be done. Economists, while taking economic decisions and giving directions for human behaviour, cannot ignore the essentials of Ethics. For example, Marshall, on the basis of morality, excluded Prostitution from his concept of productive labour. As Prof. Saligman has said, the real economic activity should be in its impact. In this way, the economist formulates the economic policy that cannot overlook the ethical aspects.

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