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Quotation of the Day…

… is from page 451 of the late University of Washington economist Paul Heyne‘s profound 1993 article “Economics, Ethics, and Ecology,” as this article is reprinted in the 2008 collection of Heyne’s writings, “Are Economists Basically Immoral?” and Other Essays on Economics, Ethics, and Religion (Geoffrey Brennan and A.M.C. Waterman, eds.) (original emphasis):

What would happen if economists abandoned their preoccupation with efficiency and talked openly about justice? Since judgments about efficiency presuppose judgments as to who shall have which rights, economists who employ efficiency criteria are implicitly making use of a theory of rights. Does economics have anything useful to say about the rights that people ought to have?