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Capital FailureRebuilding Trust in Financial Services$
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Nicholas Morris and David Vines

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9780198712220

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: October 2014

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198712220.001.0001

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A Warrant for Pain

A Warrant for Pain

Caveat Emptor vs the Duty of Care in American Medicine, c.1970–2010*

(p.332) 15 A Warrant for Pain
Capital Failure

Avner Offer

Oxford University Press

Bad ethics can make for bad economic outcomes. Bad ethics are defined hedonically as the infliction of pain on others for private advantage. The infliction of pain is often justified by ‘Just-World Theories’, which state that everyone gets what they deserve. Market liberalism (and its theoretical underpinning in neoclassical economics) is one theory of this kind. This chapter considers an example of these outcomes. It examines both the micro and macro underperformance of the American health system. 1970–2010, which is explained in terms of the shift in policy norms from the fiduciary norm ‘first do no harm’ to the neo-liberal market norm of ‘let the buyer beware’ (caveat emptor) since the 1970s.

Keywords:   ethics, caveat emptor, duty of care, Just-World Theories, market liberalism, health system

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