© 2016

The Morality of Radical Economics

Ghost Curve Ideology and the Value Neutral Aspect of Neoclassical Economics


Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-xvii
  2. Economics as a Moral Science: The Philosophy and Science of Morality

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 1-1
    2. Ron P. Baiman
      Pages 3-25
    3. Ron P. Baiman
      Pages 27-51
    4. Ron P. Baiman
      Pages 53-72
  3. Textbook Fables Support Immoral Policies: Economics Is Not About Supply and Demand or Aggregate Supply and Demand

  4. The Morality of Radical Economics: Investigating the Value Neutral Aspect of Neoclassical Economics

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 219-220
    2. Ron P. Baiman
      Pages 221-229
    3. Ron P. Baiman
      Pages 253-274
  5. Back Matter
    Pages 275-314

About this book


This book is in equal parts a treatise on morality and economics, a critique of neoclassical orthodoxy, a brief for replacing mainstream economics with a radical political economics, and an argument for the abandonment of neoliberal capitalism in favor of democratic socialism. It includes a detailed proposal for a "demand and cost" alternative to "supply and demand" analysis and an in-depth technical critique of both neoclassical "high theory" and "applied microeconomic analysis" demonstrating that these are not only infeasible or immoral, but have directly contributed to public policy disasters. Further, the book suggests that only a moral economics in the form of radical political economy can address the looming economic and environmental crises of today’s world.

Baiman begins with an introduction to morality and ethics in both general sciences and in economics in particular. He then guides readers through evidence of how neoclassical economics has not only failed to remain objective and value-free, but has become an ideology of apologetics protecting an immoral system. In addition to breaking down real-world examples to demonstrate his assertions, Baiman analyzes a theoretical Utopia design exercise. He concludes by arguing that the only form of economics that supports widely shared human values—such as social equity, democracy, and solidarity—is so-called "radical economics", and that all true economics science should be directed toward achieving more socially productive economic activity. An invaluable guide to morality and economics, this book will appeal to researchers and teachers looking to change the way we think about economics, policy, and society.


Economics Morality Radical Political Economics Supply and Deamnd Supply Curve Ghost Curve Theory Ramsey Pricing Applied Microeconomics Welfare Economics Post-Keynesian Economics Heterodox Economics Social Pricing Neoclassical Economics Value Neutrality Economic Theory

Authors and affiliations

  1. 1.Benedictine UniversityIllinoisUSA

About the authors

Ron P. Baiman teaches economics in the MBA program at Benedictine University, USA. He has written numerous academic and policy papers, served for many years on the Editorial Board of the Review for Radical Political Economics, and co-authored and co-edited the Choice award-winning collection, Political Economy and Contemporary Capitalism.

Bibliographic information

Industry Sectors
Finance, Business & Banking


“Neoclassical economics pretends to be "value neutral," which is untrue. You can't make a statement about how the economy functions without adopting a set of values. From "ghost" supply curves in the textbooks to the realm of high theory, Ron Baiman demolishes the pretenses and presents relevant value-based alternatives.” (Lance Taylor, Arnhold Professor Emeritus, New School for Social Research, USA)

“Ron Baiman has given us an interesting account of the role of values and morality in economics, taking issue with the conventional view that economics is a value neutral discipline. The book makes a strong case that economics cannot be separated from the values of economists.” (Dean Baker, co-director Center for Economic and Policy Research; coauthor of “Getting Back to Full Employment”)

“Baiman provides a refreshingly honest guide for everyone who has ever tasted a bit of formal neo-classical economics and found it implausible... He offers a deep critique of the favorite machinery of neo-classical economics ... makes solid suggestions concerning how we can start to replace neoclassical rationalizations with radical value-sensitive theories and applications.    His conclusion is clear.  We can only get a useful economics when economists consciously accept as their goal the improvement of social and human well-being.” (Joseph J. Persky, Professor of Economics, University of Illinois at Chicago, USA; author of Does "Trickle Down" Work? and When Corporations Leave Town)