Etikk, økonomi og bærekraft

SAM1A Etikk, økonomi og bærekraft

Spring 2024

Autumn 2024
  • Topics

    The course demonstrates how ethical theory and economics are crucial for understanding challenges related to ensuring sustainable development for both people and the environment.

    The course presents key positions within normative ethics (theories of what is right and wrong) and studies how perceptions of right and wrong affect people's choices. The course also provides an introduction to key ideas in economics: How does a market economy function when people make rational choices and governments have done a good job regulating the markets? What happens when this is not the case?

    Drawing on ethical theory and ideas from economic, a range of fundamental challenges related to ensuring a sustainable development are discussed. Topics include fair income distribution, environmental issues, corporate social responsibility, economic crime, trust, and discrimination.

  • Learning outcome

    Upon completion of the course, the student can:


    • Describe and explain concepts and key questions and positions in ethical theory (normative ethics).
    • Explain the relationship between ethics and motivation (positive ethics).
    • Explain how economics deals with the management of scarce resources, and from that, master alternative thinking.
    • Explain why perfect markets result in efficient resource utilization and be familiar with various forms of market failure.
    • Discuss corporate social responsibility.
    • Explain arguments for and against economic inequality.
    • Describe and explain how trust can be built in a business and how economic crime can be reduced.
    • Discuss how economics can be used to define, explain, and contribute to more sustainable development.
    • Discuss ethical aspects of globalization and human-induced climate change.


    • Identify moral dilemmas.
    • Explain key themes and concepts in economics.
    • Apply normative ethics and economic theory to analyze challenges related to sustainable development.
    • Apply positive ethics to make better decisions. Develop strategies to improve a company's reputation.

    General competence

    • Evaluate ethical issues in other subjects at NHH.
    • Explain the fundamental challenges associated with ensuring that society undergoes sustainable development.
    • Identify ethical issues in a market economy.
    • Understand the benefits of an experimental method.
    • Evaluate the fundamental distinction between positive and normative questions

  • Compulsory Activity

    The students must take part in at least 8 out of 12 experiments/surveys conducted in class.

  • Assessment

    Digital school exam (5 hours).

    An assessment will be organised in the the non-teaching semester (spring) for students with a valid course approval.

  • Grading Scale


  • Literature

    The course reading list is available in Leganto.


ECTS Credits
Teaching language

Autumn. Offered autumn 2024. 

Course responsible

Professor Alexander W. Cappelen, Department of Economics