Communities and Markets: Friend or Foe?

Day 2
Session 3
3:20 PM

Market transactions may consist in exchanges of goods but market exchanges also express, strengthen or weaken values and social norms. Without values and norms coming from specific types of communities like families, churches, neighborhoods and nations—communities whose purpose goes beyond efficient market exchanges—it becomes difficult to make market behavior morally uplifting behavior rather than morally corrosive behavior. This lecture will first consider both classical liberal and sociological approaches to communities and markets. Then we will examine whether the potentially morally corrosive effects of markets on individuals who may be vulnerable to market economies, such as children, women, the poor, and the disabled, can be mitigated by communities that both value free market exchanges but also protect those who are not able to compete successfully in the market.

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