What Is the Economist’s Job?

What Is the Economist’s Job?

“the question of valuation that arises from the use of scarce means for the attainment of alternative ends.”

“The science of economics is concerned with the question of valuation that arises from the use of scarce means for the attainment of alternative ends.”

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“These ends the economist takes as final data, facts of human choice or preference. He accepts them as desired without questioning their desirability.”


“To the psychologist he leaves the investigation of why people choose these particular ends; to the sociologist, the relation of individual preferences to the welfare of the community; to the moralist and theologian, the determination of whether such ends are good or bad for the individual and evaluation of the consistency of these ends with higher ends of a spiritual nature.”

Taken from Thomas F. Devine, S.J., Interest: An Historical and Analytical Study in Economics and Modern Ethics, The Marquette University Press, Milwaukee, 1959, p. 120.

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