This lecture is a joint event between the Oxford Martin School and The Institute of New Economic Thinking at the Oxford Martin School
Dishonest practices brought to light by the 2008 crisis have raised questions about the incentives faced by bankers, and about their training. Unfortunately, the remedy of using market discipline through competition policy to make bankers ‘behave’ is problematic.
So there have been many calls for more ethical bankers, but what might this actually look like in practice? Our answer is given by the idea of ‘principled agents’ who at times exhibit a high degree of concern for others in standard economic calculations and at other times operate from moral principle. But how compatible is the use of moral principles with standard economic cost benefit analysis?