Orthodox Economics and the Economics of Harm Lane Vanderslice Journal of Economic Issues September 2021 Access to 17 page PDF file of the pre-publication article above.
Orthodox economics understands productive activity, which obtains income by benefiting others, but does not have an adequate conception of activity which obtains income by harming others. There is a broad and important range of activities which obtain income by harming others. This paper considers the analysis of some of these including conflict theory, rent-seeking, corruption, harm of workers, consumers, and nature, economic historians’ consideration of extractive political and economic institutions, and the varieties of discrimination. The omission of harm is evident in undergraduate textbooks in microeconomics and public economics. The fundamental political economic system of past and present, a productive plus harmful one, is not being taught to economics students.
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