Economists, whose discipline has always had a strong relationship to moral philosophy (Adam Smith, the author of The Wealth of Nations, also wrote the celebrated Theory of Moral Sentiments), have always seen their role in society as that of pursuing the public good. They properly see themselves as guardians of the public interest, and to be engaged in public-policy debates against special interests who wish to ‘capture’ policy to advance their narrowly circumscribed, self-serving agendas.
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Jagdish N. Bhagwati,
Economic Policy in the Public Interest,
Available at: https://scholarship.law.columbia.edu/faculty_scholarship/2885