Normative statement

In economics, a normative statement expresses a value judgement about whether a situation is subjectively desirable or undesirable. "The world would be a better place if the moon were made of green cheese" is a normative statement because it expresses a judgement about what ought to be. Notice that there is no way of testing the veracity of the statement; even if you disagree with it, you have no sure way of proving to someone who believes the statement that he or she is wrong by mere appeal to facts. Normative statements are characterised by the modal verbs "should", "would" or "could". They form the basis of normative economics, and are the opposite of positive statements. For further information see normative science.


  • Lipsey, Richard G. (1975). An introduction to positive economics (fourth ed.). Weidenfeld & Nicolson. pp. 4–6. ISBN 0297768999. 

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