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Victor V. Claar

In: 21st Century Economics: A Reference Handbook

Chapter 87: Ethics and Economics

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Ethics and Economics
Ethics and economics

Can markets and market interactions be viewed as ethical? This is a crucial consideration inasmuch as it calls into question the entire discipline of economics and every human action within each market. Markets might very well afford individuals opportunities to choose among a variety of options and to choose rightly. If so, then markets are neither moral nor amoral, yet they create occasions for each individual to make ethical decisions.

But markets are more than this from the viewpoint of the broader society. Although it is true that an individual market participant may be thinking of only his or her own family in deciding whether to purchase a quart of milk, individual participation in market interactions nevertheless leads to outcomes that—over ...

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