Do Markets Corrupt Our Morals?
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Do Markets Corrupt Our Morals?

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The most damning criticism of markets is that they are morally corrupting. As we increasingly engage in market activity, the more likely we are to become selfish, corrupt, rapacious and debased. Even Adam Smith, who famously celebrated markets, believed that there were moral costs associated with life in market societies.






This book explores whether or not engaging in market activities is morally corrupting. Storr and Choi demonstrate that people in market societies are wealthier, healthier, happier and better connected than those in societies where markets are more restricted. More provocatively, they explain that successful markets require and produce virtuous participants. Markets serve as moral spaces that both rely on and reward their participants for being virtuous. Rather than harming individuals morally, the market is an arena where individuals are encouraged to be their best moral selves. Do Markets Corrupt Our Morals? invites us to reassess the claim that markets corrupt our morals.
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Product details

  • Paperback | 281 pages
  • 155 x 235 x 15.75mm | 456g
  • Cham, Switzerland
  • English
  • 1st ed. 2019
  • 39 Illustrations, black and white; XIII, 281 p. 39 illus.
  • 3030184153
  • 9783030184155
  • 1,032,186

Back cover copy

The most damning criticism of markets is that they are morally corrupting. As we increasingly engage in market activity, the more likely we are to become selfish, corrupt, rapacious and debased. Even Adam Smith, who famously celebrated markets, believed that there were moral costs associated with life in market societies.




This book explores whether or not engaging in market activities is morally corrupting. Storr and Choi demonstrate that people in market societies are wealthier, healthier, happier and better connected than those of societies where markets are more restricted. More provocatively, they explain that successful markets require and produce virtuous participants. Markets serve as moral spaces that both rely on and reward their participants for being virtuous. Rather than harming individuals morally, the market is an arena where individuals are encouraged to be their best moral selves. Do Markets Corrupt Our Morals? invites us to reassess the claim that markets corrupt our morals.
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Table of contents

1. Can Markets Be Moral?2. Markets as Monsters3. Markets as Unintentionally Moral Wealth Creators4. People Can Improve Their Lives through Markets5. Markets Are Moral Spaces6. Markets Are Moral Training Grounds7. What If Markets Are Really Moral?
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About Virgil Henry Storr

Virgil Henry Storr is Associate Professor of Economics at George Mason University and the Don C. Lavoie Senior Fellow in the F.A. Hayek Program in Philosophy, Politics and Economics at the Mercatus Center.



Ginny Seung Choi is Associate Director of Academic & Student Programs; a Senior Fellow in the F.A. Hayek Program for Advanced Study in Philosophy, Politics and Economics; and a Senior Research Fellow at the Mercatus Center at George Mason University. Previously, she was an Assistant Professor of Economics at Saint Vincent College.
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