(Im)moral markets

A snippet from Dani Rodrik’s [amazon_link id=”0393246418″ target=”_blank” ]Economics Rules[/amazon_link]:

“As Albert Hirschman reminds us in his magisterial book [amazon_link id=”0691160252″ target=”_blank” ]The Passions and the Interests[/amazon_link], the thinkers of the late 17th and early 18th centuries reasoned that the proft-seeking motive would countervail baser human motivations such as the urge for violence and domination over other men. The term ‘doux’ (sweet) was often appended to ‘commerce’ to suggest commercial activities promoted gentle and peaceful interactions. …. These early philosophers [eg [amazon_link id=”1514328127″ target=”_blank” ]Montesquieu[/amazon_link]] encouraged the spread of markets, not for reasons of efficiency or for the expanson of material resources but because they thought it would promote a more harmonious, more ethical society. It is ironic that thre centuries later markets have come to be associated in the eyes of many with moral corruption.”

Shades of Deirdre McCloskey’s [amazon_link id=”0226556646″ target=”_blank” ]The Bourgeois Virtues: Ethics for an Age of Commerce.[/amazon_link]?

[amazon_image id=”0393246418″ link=”true” target=”_blank” size=”medium” ]Economics Rules: The Rights and Wrongs of the Dismal Science[/amazon_image]

2 thoughts on “(Im)moral markets

  1. Pingback: (Im)moral markets | Homines Economici

  2. Need more empirical data but I see “baser instincts” mainly in the government sector. Take the pentagon as a more massive child abuser than the Catholic Church . The frontal lobe is not mature until age 25, kids should not be sent overseas on missions of empire until at least 26. You might need those youthful hormones to defend our borders but not for foreign adventures. How would the pentagon compete if restricted to age 25 and over?

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