Interesting article and book

I just saw the abstract below to a review article by someone I know and regard highly (Rachel Kranton) in the March 2019 Journal of Economic Literature.

I took a look at the full article(14 pages) and then bought the book on line. Then I finished reading the article (15 minutes with pondering).

The Moral Economy: Why Good Incentives Are No Substitute for Good Citizens


(6) The Devil Is in the Details: Implications of Samuel Bowles’s The Moral Economy for Economics and Policy Research
Rachel Kranton
All economists should buy and read The Moral Economy by Samuel Bowles. The book challenges basic premises of economic theory and questions policies based on monetary incentives. Incentives not only crowd out intrinsic motivations, they erode the ethical and moral codes necessary for the workings of markets. Bowles boldly suggests that successful policies must combine incentives and moral messages, exploiting complementarities between the two. This essay argues that to achieve this objective, economists must study the local institutions and social context and engage untraditional data to uncover the interplay of incentives and identity.
Full-Text Access | Supplementary Materials

The JEL article is free at the Full Text access link, or here.


The book came out in 2017, but I had not read a review. I am looking forward to reading the book.

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