23520 - Economical Ethics

Academic Year 2023/2024

  • Teaching Mode: Traditional lectures
  • Campus: Forli
  • Corso: Second cycle degree programme (LM) in Management for Social Economy (cod. 8843)

Learning outcomes

The aim of the course is to provide essential concepts and tools for the analysis and discussion of economic behaviour and market outcomes from an ethical point of view. At the end of the course the student is able to: - place the economic discipline within a wider frame of moral science; - compare the different theories of economic justice and discuss its implications; - use the fundamental criteria of communication and ethical argumentation; - apply these criteria both in theoretical-practical analysis and in the enhancement of human resources, preserving their motivations and promoting their autonomy; - analyse coherence, effectiveness and opportunities for pathways of social responsibility and active citizenship for sustainable development.

Course contents

We start from a brushing-up of the foundations of individual decision-making and the basics of social choice. We then move to investigate thee complex interplay between economic theory and moral theories, with an emphasis on utilitarianism, neo-contractualism (John Rawls) and the caspability approach (Amartya Sen). Some focus will be on poverty and the many dimensions of economic inequality.


*: mandatory

Akerlof, G. e R. Kranton, Economia dell’identità, Laterza, 2012.

Alesina, A. e E. Glaeser, Un mondo di differenze, Laterza, 2005.

Boitani, A., L’illusione liberista, Laterza, 2021.

Hirschman, A., Felicità privata e felicità pubblica, Il Mulino, 1983.

Milanovic, B., Capitalismo contro capitalismo, Laterza, 2019.

Rajan, R. e L. Zingales, Salvare il capitalismo dai capitalisti, Einaudi, 2004.

Sandel, M., La tirannia del merito, Feltrinelli, 2021.

*Sandel, M., Quello che i soldi non possono comprare, Feltrinelli, 2013, oppure “Market Reasoning as Moral Reasoning: Why Economists Should Re-engage with Political Philosophy”, Journal of Economic Perspectives, vol. 27, pp. 121-40, 2013.

Scheidel, W., La grande livellatrice, Il Mulino, 2019.

*Sen, A., Etica ed Economia, Laterza, 2006.

*Sen, A. e B. Williams, a cura di, Utilitarismo e oltre, Il Saggiatore, 2002, Introduzione.

*Stiglitz, J., Il prezzo della diseguaglianza, Einaudi, 2014.

Walzer, M., Che cosa significa essere liberale, Cortina, 2023.

Wilkinson, R. e K. Pickett, La misura dell’anima, Feltrinelli, 2009.

*Zamagni, S., Responsabili, Il Mulino, 2019.

Zingales, L., Manifesto capitalista, Rizzoli, 2012.

Teaching methods

Front teaching and group discussion.

Assessment methods

Short dicussion (15 minutes) of an essay (at least 10 pages) on a topic agreed with the teacher. The essay should be sent to the teacher at least a week before the chosen date for the exam.

The grade is scaled as follows:

<18 failed
18-23 sufficient
24-27 good
28-30 very good
30 e lode excellent

Office hours

See the website of Flavio Delbono