Dictionary of Arguments

Philosophical and Scientific Issues in Dispute

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Disputed term/author/ism Author
Altruism Sen Brocker I 882
Altruism/Gary S. Becker: some economists, including Gary S. Becker, reinterpret moral expenditures in such a way that they appear as sophisticated forms of self-care - eager for social recognition or transcendent salvation (Becker 1976(1); Becker 1996(2)): With the help of secret motifs unknown to the actors, ordinary altruism is reconstructed as extraordinary egoism. SenVsBecker, Gary: But Sen is against it: If such, scientifically questionable, ad-hoc assumptions are necessary in order not to simply dismiss moral action as irrational to one's own disadvantage, what does this actually say about the theory applied here?(3) Shouldn't one rather renounce the dogma of self-interest than the plausibility of one's own statements?

1. Gary S. Becker, The Economic Approach to Human Behavior, Chicago 1976
2. Gary S. Becker, Accounting for Tastes, Cambridge, Mass. 1996
3. Amartya Sen, Ökonomie für den Menschen. Wege zu Gerechtigkeit und Solidarität in der Marktwirtschaft, München 2000, S. 332-334.

Claus Dierksmeier, „Amartya Sen, Ökonomie für den Menschen (1999)“ in: Manfred Brocker (Hg.) Geschichte des politischen Denkens. Das 20. Jahrhundert. Frankfurt/M. 2018

EconSen I
Amartya Sen
Collective Choice and Social Welfare: Expanded Edition London 2017

Brocker I
Manfred Brocker
Geschichte des politischen Denkens. Das 20. Jahrhundert Frankfurt/M. 2018
Human Capital Becker Mause I 510f
Human Capital/Becker: The homogeneity of the factor labor is dissolved into a new inhomogeneity (Becker 1992, 1993a, b.) (1)(2). Demanders for human capital, as well as demanders for other forms of capital and for the production factors work and land, are companies, the state and other employers. The core of human capital theory is the view that human capital increases the productivity of an actor and that increased productivity results in higher income for the actor and growth of the economy as a whole. Question: how is the amount of human capital and its overall economic impact determined?
Solution: Comparison of costs and benefits of education expenditure.
Narrow view: Investments in human capital are only those actions that will increase productivity in the future.
Individual: an individual's human capital stock is the stock of productive skills and abilities that result in a flow of income.
VsHuman Capital/VsBecker: the concept of human capital was criticized as inhuman after its introduction. In Germany, it was named "Un-word of the Year" in 2004. (3)
Nowadays this rejection is overcome.

1. Gary S. Becker, Menschliches Dasein aus ökonomischer Sicht. Nobel-Lesung vom 9. Dezember 1992. In Die Nobelpreisträger der ökonomischen Wissenschaft, Hrsg. Karl-Dieter Grüske, Bd. III, 206– 236. Düsseldorf 1992
2. Gary. S. Becker 1993Human capital. A theoretical and empirical analysis with special references to education, 3.ed. Chicago: NBER.
3. Jury Unwort des Jahres. 2004. Generelle Stellungnahme zum Unwort des Jahres „Humankapital“. http:// www. unwortdesjahres. net/ index. php? id = 18.

Mause I
Karsten Mause
Christian Müller
Klaus Schubert,
Politik und Wirtschaft: Ein integratives Kompendium Wiesbaden 2018
Preferences Stigler Mause I 170f
Preferences/Economy/Stigler/Becker: The standard theory assumes (...) constant preferences of all market players. (1) VsBecker, Gary S./VsStigler, George J.: There are adaptive preferences, i.e. those that change depending on previous consumption patterns. (2) e.g. sensitization for social misdevelopments, new environmental awareness.

1. Stigler, George J., und Gary S. Becker, De Gustibus Non Est Disputandum. American Economic Review 67 (2), 1977. S. 76– 90.
2. Weizsäcker, Carl Christian von. Adaptive Präferenzen und die Legitimierung dezentraler Entscheidungsstrukturen. In Behavioral Economics und Wirtschaftspolitik, Hrsg. Christian Müller und Nils Otter, Stuttgart 2015, S. 67– 99.

EconStigler I
George J. Stigler
Gary S. Becker
De Gustibus Non Est Disputandum 1977

Mause I
Karsten Mause
Christian Müller
Klaus Schubert,
Politik und Wirtschaft: Ein integratives Kompendium Wiesbaden 2018