Business Ethics — Course Modules

Ethical Principles

Egoism, Predation, and Altruism: “What Business Ethics Can Learn from Entrepreneurship” (2009)
Greed: Notes on ABC News Special “Greed” (1999).


Free Trade Makes You a Better Person.
Uber, Cuba, and Freedoms Small and Large.
The Trading Game: Arbitrary, Free Trade, Restrictions, Egalitarian, Authoritarian.


Bastiat. “The Candlemakers’ Petition.”
Is Life Unfair? My Challenge to the Best Tennis Player in the World.


Profits–Good, Bad, and Obscene.


Tara Smith, “Money Can Buy Happiness” [pdf at Reason Papers] (2003).
Loving Money and Books – Which Is More Evil?
Bible: “The love of money is a root of all evil.” “You cannot serve both God and money.”


Do we really live in a world of scarce resources?
Garrett Hardin, “The Tragedy of the Commons.”
Lifeboat ethics: how scarcity thinking sets us at each others’ throats.


Robert Nozick, “The Tale of the Slave” , from Anarchy, State, and Utopia (1974). [HTML]
James Buchanan, “Saving the Soul of Classical Liberalism”, The Wall Street Journal (2000).
Robert Lawson, “Free Markets.”


F. A. Hayek, “The Use of Knowledge in Society” (1945).
Information Asymmetry :


Why power does not corrupt — and it is character that matters most.
Third-Way Politics and Its Bitter Fruits.
Stephen Hicks, “Ethics for a Democratic Republic” (2015).
Economic and Political Power

Property Rights

International Property Rights Index.

“An entire Manhattan village owned by black people was destroyed to build Central Park.”


Good Monopoly, Bad Monopoly: When Are Monopolies Actually a Problem?
Who Is Really Serious About Monopolies?


Robert Litan, “Regulation
Blamestorming and “Deregulation caused the financial crisis”.

Public Choice

David R. Henderson, “Rent Seeking”.
Wikipedia, “Rent Seeking.”
William Shughart, “Public Choice” [CEE].
Russell Roberts, “If You’re Paying, I’ll Have Top Sirloin” (1995).
Rob Norton, “Unintended Consequences” [CEE].
James M. Buchanan, “Public Choice: Politics without Romance,” Policy Magazine (2003).
Ayn Rand, Atlas Shrugged.


The Love Canal Environmental Disaster.
The Bhopal Chemical Spill Disaster.


Linda Gorman, “Discrimination.”
Claudia Goldin,
Tom Beauchamp, “McAleer v. AT&T”.
Stephen Hicks, How to Discriminate Properly


Stephen Hicks, Whistleblowing and Government Secrets, Chelsea Manning edition.


Peter Singer, “The Duty to Give to the World’s Poor”.
Stephen Hicks, Who Really Wants to Solve the Problem of Poverty?

Division of Labor

Adam Smith, “Of the Division of Labour”, Chapter 1 of The Wealth of Nations (1776).


Transparency International.
Stephen Hicks, Corruption—Is It Worse in Free or Government-Regulated Markets?


Benjamin Powell:

Child Labor

Jeffrey Tucker, “Let the Kids Work.” FEE.


Michael Munger, “When Is a Potato Chip Not Just a Potato Chip?”


Why are some countries rich and some countries poor?
Gapminder Chart.
Stephen Hicks, NA and LA.


Alexei Marcoux, “Entrepreneurship: Schumpeter, Knight, and Kirzner.”

Kaizen entrepreneur interviews.
Stephen Hicks, “What Entrepreneurs Can Teach Us All About Life,” The Wall Street Journal

Famous entrepreneurs in history

J. J. Hill
John D. Rockefeller
Cornelius Vanderbilt
Mary Kay Ash
Ray Kroc
Sam Walton
Steve Jobs

Business Ethics Cases

Chris MacDonald and Alexei Marcoux. Business Ethics Highlights.
Tom Beauchamp, “Manufacture and Regulation of Laetrile”.
“Laetrile and Pharmaceuticals”.
Charles Hooper, “Pharmaceuticals” [CEE]

Tom Beauchamp, “The FCC’s ‘Fairness Doctrine'”.
Telecommunications and the “‘Fairness Doctrine'”.
John Haring, “Telecommunications” [CEE].

Tom Beauchamp, “Putting the Squeeze on Citrus Hill Orange Juice” .

Tom Beauchamp, “Hooker Chemical and Love Canal” .

The Love Canal Environmental Disaster.

Tom Beauchamp, “Venture Capital for Rubbernex” .

The Bhopal Chemical Spill Disaster.

Rent Control

Walter Block, “Rent Control.”
Cities: Stockholm. Mumbai. New York. San Francisco.

Minimum Wages

Linda Gorman,
The Seattle Minimum Wage Study.

Technology and Employment

Deirdre McCloskey,


Comparing North and Latin American Economic Performance.
Indices: Index of Economic Freedom, Economic Freedom of the World, and


John Maynard Keynes, The End of Laissez-Faire

Hicks on Keynes, Can We Blame Keynes for Keynesianism?

Henry Hazlitt, Economics in One Lesson (1946).
Karl Marx, Excerpts from The Communist Manifesto .
Max Weber, excerpt from The Protestant Ethic and the Spirit of Capitalism.


Al Gini and Ronald Green, Ten Virtues of Leadership


Max Roser. Five Charts. Our World in Data.

Transaction Costs

Michael Munger, “Why We Can’t Break Up With Our Stuff Yet.”

Opportunity Cost

Bastiat, “The Seen and the Unseen.”

Unintended Consequences
Dispersed Costs and Concentrated Benefits
Bootleggers and Baptists