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Economic rationalism

Economic rationalism is an Australian term in macroeconomics, applicable to the economic policy of many governments around the world.

Economic rationalism is economic policy without social moral consideration, or "the view that commercial activity ... represents a sphere of activity in which moral considerations, beyond the rule of business probity dictated by enlightened self-interest, have no role to play." (Quiggin 1997)

Economic rationalism can have positive results when the 'self-interest' is considered as the financial wellbeing of society at large. This financial wellbeing is however often at the expense of environmental and cultural considerations. Economic rationalist policy is often opposed by environmentalists, multiculturalists and others at the opposite end of the political spectrum to economic rationalists themselves.


  1. Economic rationalism (http://ecocomm.anu.edu.au/quiggin/JournalArticles97/Econrat97), John Quiggin, Professor of Economics, James Cook University, Published as: Quiggin, J. (1997), 'Economic rationalism', Crossings, 2(1), 3-12.

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