Economists as Political Philosophers: A Critique of Normative Trade Theory

45 Pages Posted: 6 Jul 2014

Date Written: 2014

Abstract

Economists are political philosophers. This claim is defended based on an investigation of normative arguments made in economics textbooks. The paper aims to explain, reconstruct and contest the neoclassical vision implicit in mainstream economic trade theory. Analyzing arguments made by international economists from the perspective of political philosophy, I show how the contemporary defence of free markets and trade liberalization is linked to a specific normative ideal of the political and social good.

Keywords: Political philosophy, Neoclassical economics, Normative trade theory, Free trade, Efficiency

Suggested Citation

Lepenies, Robert, Economists as Political Philosophers: A Critique of Normative Trade Theory (2014). EUI Department of Law Research Paper No. MWP 2014/11, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2462503 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2462503

Robert Lepenies (Contact Author)

European University Institute ( email )

Villa Schifanoia
133 via Bocaccio
Firenze (Florence), Tuscany 50014
Italy

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