Professor Edward Morey

Home Page for Econ 4060: Choice theory and economic ethics: good, bad and happiness (Ethics, happiness and choice)

Spring 2018: Tuesday/Thursday 3:30-4:45, Econ 16

Office hours: Tuesdays 5:00-6:00, Thursdays 1:00-2:00, and by appointment. Feel free to email about appointments. You will be visiting me often.

Links to course materials will be activated when the material becomes available

Unless otherwise specified, the materials available online are in .pdf format and can be read with the Adobe Acrobat Reader

Imagine a course at the intersection of economic choice theory, psychology, neuroscience, and moral philosophy. While the course should be of particular interest to those with a second major or minor in psychology, philosophy, or neuroscience, prior knowledge in these areas is not required.

Our discussions will be divided into three sections of approximately equal length (each corresponding to a section of the book:

I. Preferences, happiness, and economics, how to make a person, or other animal, better off

II. Choice or the illusion of choice

III. Moral philosophies and the moral philosophy (ethics) of economics

The discussion will be based on the evolving chapters in a book that I a writing--see below.

The formal course description: Critiques how economists model and judge behavior. How we judge is contrasted with other moral philosophies. Economists assume individuals behave in their own best interests. What does this mean and is it true? Wel will look at research from psychology and neuroscience. Twenty students and a multi-step research essay, designed for students who love to question, research, write, and rewrite

This is a writing course: to do well you will need to write well. It you like writing, write well, and want to critically think about the foundations of economic choice theory, this might be the course for you. If not, probably not.

Where did this course come from? This course, and my book, evolved from a critical thinking course I taught titled "Economics, ethics, and the environment." That course started with an emphasis on the environment: environmental policy and ethics, but through the interests and comments of the students that course evolved into this course. The students were very engaged; we learned from each other; we leaned to think ritically think about the foundations of economics.

A more detailed course description

Link to draft of An Economists quirky look at behavior, choice, happiness and ethics: stuff most economists mostly don't think about

How to provide Edward comments on a chapter

Your research project/paper

Who should, and who should not, take this course?

How your grade will be determined

Some of the articles cited in the book (often there is a link in the reference list)

Interesting and noteworthy student research papers

A guide to being a mentor and a mentee


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Last Update: 01-15-2018 .