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  • Kenneth J. Arrow

Abstract

Margaret Jane Radin's new book, Contested Commodities, is reviewed. The book's thesis is that some activities are too close to the intrinsic identity of persons to be proper subjects of the market and that discourse which treats all such activities as commodities can itself create harm. She therefore argues for a concept of "incomplete commodification." The review first locates Radin's thesis as part of a long tradition. Second, it notes that a state-based or legal determination of which goods are so deeply personal is certainly not clearly superior to self-determination in the context of a market. Third, it argues that the effect of discourse on behavior is not empirically clear and that acting on the view that discourse can threaten deep values can lead to limits on freedom.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by American Economic Association in its journal Journal of Economic Literature.

Volume (Year): 35 (1997)
Issue (Month): 2 (June)
Pages: 757-765

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Handle: RePEc:aea:jeclit:v:35:y:1997:i:2:p:757-765

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Cited by:
  1. Carlos Esteban Posada, . "Los Mercados de Instituciones y las Instituciones Endógenas," Borradores de Economia 081, Banco de la Republica de Colombia.
  2. Khalil, Elias L., 1999. "Sentimental fools: a critique of Amartya Sen's notion of commitment," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 40(4), pages 373-386, December.
  3. Bruno S. Frey, 2005. "Knight Fever: Towards an Economics of Awards," CREMA Working Paper Series 2005-12, Center for Research in Economics, Management and the Arts (CREMA).
  4. Smale, Melinda & Diakité, Lamissa & Dembélé, Brahima & Traoré, Issa Seni & Guindo, Oumar & Konta, Bouréma, 2008. "Trading millet and sorghum genetic resources women vendors in the village fairs of San and Souentza, Mali:," IFPRI discussion papers 746, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).
  5. Zafirovski, Milan, 1998. "Socio-economics and rational choice theory: Specification of their relations," Journal of Behavioral and Experimental Economics (formerly The Journal of Socio-Economics), Elsevier, vol. 27(2), pages 165-205.
  6. Gowdy, John M. & Mayumi, Kozo, 2001. "Reformulating the foundations of consumer choice theory and environmental valuation," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 39(2), pages 223-237, November.
  7. Giuseppe Munda, 2012. "Beyond GDP: Methodological and measurement issues in redefining “wealth”," UHE Working papers 2012_09, Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona, Departament d'Economia i Història Econòmica, Unitat d'Història Econòmica.
  8. Alkire, Sabina, 2002. "Dimensions of Human Development," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 30(2), pages 181-205, February.
  9. Klundert, T.C.M.J. van de & Ven, J. van de, 1999. "On the Viability of Gift Exchange in a Market Environment," Discussion Paper 1999-113, Tilburg University, Center for Economic Research.
  10. Nancy Folbre & Julie A. Nelson, 2000. "For Love or Money--Or Both?," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 14(4), pages 123-140, Fall.
  11. Zafirovski, Milan, 1999. "A socio-economic approach to market transactions," Journal of Behavioral and Experimental Economics (formerly The Journal of Socio-Economics), Elsevier, vol. 28(3), pages 309-334.
  12. Munda, Giuseppe, 2009. "A conflict analysis approach for illuminating distributional issues in sustainability policy," European Journal of Operational Research, Elsevier, vol. 194(1), pages 307-322, April.
  13. Alberto Porto & Natalia Porto, 2000. "Fiscal Decentralization and Voters' Choices as Control," Journal of Applied Economics, Universidad del CEMA, vol. 0, pages 135-167, May.

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