Cite JOURNAL ARTICLE
Grundlinien der Wirtschaftsethik
Journal of Contextual Economics – Schmollers Jahrbuch, Vol. 109 (1989), Iss. 3 : pp. 345–383
Economic ethics or ethical economy forms a synthesis of ethical and economic judgments. The need for economic ethics arises since economic actions generate ethical side effects and ethical norms economic externalities. Since the side effects of actions in the scientific-technical civilization and the interest in their ethical and economic justifiability have increased the interest in economic ethics has grown too. The problem of side effects demonstrates that the market is no ethically neutral zone that has no need for ethics. The invisible hand is effective in the market but not so miraculously that it transforms pure egoism via externalities into the common good. The invisible hand must be supported by economic ethics. The socioeconomic approach must include the socioethical one. The synthesis of individual ethics and microeconomic theory consists in securing a comprehensive weighing up of goods (Güterabwägung) in decision-making.