Economic Normativity: The Case of the Budget Constraint

Roel Jongeneel*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


In contrast to the dominant way of thinking in economics, in which economics is seen as a positive or neutral science, this paper argues that economics is a discipline that has its own normativity. This economic normativity should be distinguished from what is usually considered as ethics, which normally has a broader scope (e.g., stewardship). This paper further argues that the budget constraint is a key source of economic normativity, although it is not the only source. Economic-theoretical and philosophical aspects are discussed, and consequences for economic life and policy are assessed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)220-244
Number of pages25
JournalPhilosophia Reformata
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 1 Nov 2019


  • budget constraint
  • economic normativity
  • economics
  • financial balance conditions
  • János Kornai
  • Reformational philosophy
  • stewardship


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