Economics and Morality: Anthropological Approaches (Society by B. Lynne Milgram, Katherine E. Browne.

By B. Lynne Milgram, Katherine E. Browne.

In Economics and Morality, the authors search to light up the a number of varieties of analyses bearing on morality and fiscal habit particularly forms of financial structures.

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Extra info for Economics and Morality: Anthropological Approaches (Society for Economic Anthropology Monographs)

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Their research with dozens of CSR leaders helped them create a typology that describes the range of variation characterizing this emerging phenomenon. The benefits of becoming recognized as a CSR company are significant, particularly for publicly traded companies that depend on a corporate reputation to attract stockholders and capital. In their study, Garsten and Hernes profile the rise, fall, and struggle to rise again of a Norwegian dairy cooperative faced with dramatic changes in the public understanding of milk.

Thus, although Western-style, growth-oriented market economies are taking root elsewhere, there is not necessarily a concomitant transfer of associated moral premises (Ferguson 2006; Hefner 1998; Ong 2006). The thrust of moral expectations in different contexts of capitalism may effectively decouple economic growth from individual choice, handsoff government, or even the sacred idea of efficiency, replacing these Western moralities with alternative principles that are locally meaningful and perhaps equally or more effective.

There are exceptions. In philosophy, there are “applied” moral philosophers, such as Jeffrey Reiman (2007), who consider the moral dimensions of capitalist economies. In economics, there are “heterodox” and “institutional” schools of thought that attempt to challenge the dominant model of welfare economics based on its claims of moral concern for social welfare. As Hausman and McPherson point out, because the measure of social welfare is calculated from the sum of individual utilities, moral values have little role in economic analysis (2006: 92).

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