self-interest

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The effect of omitting unpaid work from national accounts

Home is where the heart is. Most homemakers would also agree that home is where the work is. Traditionally the role of homemaker has been performed by women and is unpaid work. According to the Australian Bureau of Statistics the difference between paid and unpaid work is that the former is defined as activity that uses labour and other factors of production to produce goods and services for sale in the market, while the latter receives no payment as the majority of the services are not produced for the market.

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Does being an economist make me a bad person?

Julie Nelson’s economic paper “Poisioning the well, or how Economic Theory Damages Moral Imagination” poses an interesting question: is there such a thing as ethical economics? Economic history and literature are embedded with an array of theories that have nothing to do with ethics or moral inclinations. For example, Adam Smith’s invisible hand insisted that the market itself would direct individual behaviour in the right direction.

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Markets and morality

In recent years, the interrelationship between ‘free markets’ and morality has become increasingly apparent. Stories of corporate corruption, unethical animal testing and the exploitation of workers in third world countries arise frequently in the media.

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