NIFK14017U Economics and Ethics

Volume 2014/2015

The course will introduce a number of key ethical issues of relevance for economics: poverty/global justice, business ethics, the state vs. the market, the ethics of risk and the use of economic incentives vs. moral or religious motivation. The aim is to demonstrate how these issues are at stake and interrelate in many policy areas. Also, the course will highlight how, up through the history of economic thinking, a number of ethical issues such as the legitimacy of taking interest, the justice of prices and the justice of distributions has been taken out of the scientific domain, leaving the focus on efficiency. The students are expected to bring their own ethical cases to be used as a basis for discussion. Climate change will be used as an overarching case study. The course provides opportunity for each student to work individually in depth with some of these issues applied on a specific case.

Learning Outcome

The student must demonstrate overview of ethical theories
The student must demonstrate overview over the ethical and economic aspects of the chosen ethical problem.
The student must be able to analyze ethical issues of relevance for economics.
The student must give a thorough ethical analysis of the chosen problem.
The student should be able to present the chosen problem with a transparent logical structure.

The specific course literature will be announced at Absalon at the beginning of the course.

Interest in the intersection between economics and ethics
The course is based on seminars with active participation. In the first half of the course, the seminars will consist of lectures followed by discussion. These lectures will cover the key issues.
During the first half, each student chooses after consultation a clearly delineated ethical problem within a specific case (in a modern or historical context) as subject for an essay. Each student also commits him- or herself to be opponent of another student's essay.
In the second half, the seminars will consist of students’presentations and discussion. Students can present their own work or issues and literature of common interest.
There will be individual supervision to essay writing.
  • Category
  • Hours
  • Exam
  • 1
  • Exam Preparation
  • 9
  • Guidance
  • 8
  • Preparation
  • 42
  • Project work
  • 118
  • Seminar
  • 28
  • Total
  • 206
7,5 ECTS
Type of assessment
Written assignment
Oral examination, 30 min
The student presents and defends an essay. During the opposition, the examiners can ask questions. The student is opponent of another student's essay. (Essay 2/3, presentation & defence 1/6, opposition 1/6)
Exam registration requirements
1 oral presentation during the course
Marking scale
7-point grading scale
Censorship form
No external censorship
Internal censorship
The student presents and defends an essay. (Essay 5/6, presentation & defence 1/6)
Criteria for exam assesment

See Learning Outcome