One of the roles of democratic liberal education has been preparation of economic men
and women in competition for scarce ends that are mediated by the market.
On the contrary, economic man is integrated with the other economic men
, by a spontaneous multiplication of interests and not by a transfer of rights" (Lazzarato, 2010, p.
For example, in experimental games, about a quarter of experimental subjects really do behave like economic men
(and women), no matter what situation we put them into.
Feminists may bristle at applying economics to argue for social support for caretakers on the grounds that the exercise indulges assumptions--such as that all persons operate as "rational" economic men
(and women) motivated by pure self-interest--that are fundamentally antithetical to an "ethic-of-care" approach.
They are not exactly economic men
, but they are not terrible approximations.
Finally an economist, Edwin Chadwick (1862), struck an effective blow for decent treatment of prisoners by accepting that ship captains were economic men
and recommending a change in incentives.
Unfortunately, some empowerment proponents assume that Americans are economic men
- entrepreneurs who can be made virtuous solely by promises of material reward.