Business Ethics References in 200 years of Books

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    A powerful tool was made available to the public yesterday. In research reported Thursday in the journal Science, scientists at Harvard University, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Google and the Encyclopedia Britannica unveiled a database of two billion words and phrases drawn from 5.2 million books in Google’s digital library published during the past 200 years.

    Just insert the phrase “business ethics” and see what emerges:

    While the increase in the phrase in recent years makes sense, given the increase in the number of business books published. But look at the blip in 1930, just after the Crash of 1929. It didn’t take long for authors to be raising issues about practices on Wall Street.