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Repugnance as a Constraint on Markets

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  • Alvin E. Roth

Abstract

This essay examines how repugnance sometimes constrains what transactions and markets we see. When my colleagues and I have helped design markets and allocation procedures, we have often found that distaste for certain kinds of transactions is a real constraint, every bit as real as the constraints imposed by technology or by the requirements of incentives and efficiency. I'll first consider a range of examples, from slavery and indentured servitude (which are much more repugnant now than they once were) to lending money for interest (which used to be widely repugnant but no longer is), and from bans on eating horse meat in California to bans on dwarf tossing in France. An example of special interest will be the widespread laws against the buying and selling of organs for transplantation. The historical record suggests that while repugnance can change over time, it can persist for a very long time, although changes in institutions that reflect repugnance can occur relatively quickly when the underlying repugnance changes.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by UCLA Department of Economics in its series Levine's Bibliography with number 321307000000000629.

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Date of creation: 08 Dec 2006
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Handle: RePEc:cla:levrem:321307000000000629

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References

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  1. Alvin E. Roth & Tayfun Sönmez & M. Utku Ünver, 2004. "Pairwise Kidney Exchange," Game Theory and Information, EconWPA 0408001, EconWPA, revised 16 Feb 2005.
  2. Atila Abdulkadiroglu & Parag Pathak & Alvin E. Roth & Tayfun Sonmez, 2006. "Changing the Boston School Choice Mechanism," NBER Working Papers 11965, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. Roth, Alvin E & Xing, Xiaolin, 1997. "Turnaround Time and Bottlenecks in Market Clearing: Decentralized Matching in the Market for Clinical Psychologists," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, University of Chicago Press, vol. 105(2), pages 284-329, April.
  4. M.Utku Unver, 2005. "Efficient Kidney Exchange: Coincidence of Wants in a Structured Market," Working Papers 263, University of Pittsburgh, Department of Economics, revised Jan 2005.
  5. Atila Abdulkadiroglu & Parag A. Pathak & Alvin E. Roth, 2009. "Strategy-proofness versus Efficiency in Matching with Indifferences: Redesigning the New York City High School Match," NBER Working Papers 14864, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  6. Roth, Alvin E, 1991. "A Natural Experiment in the Organization of Entry-Level Labor Markets: Regional Markets for New Physicians and Surgeons in the United Kingdom," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 81(3), pages 415-40, June.
  7. Sönmez, Tayfun & Pathak, Parag A. & Abdulkadiroglu, Atila & Roth, Alvin, 2005. "The Boston Public School Match," Scholarly Articles 2562764, Harvard University Department of Economics.
  8. Alvin E. Roth & Tayfun Sönmez & M. Utku Ünver, 2004. "Kidney Exchange," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, MIT Press, vol. 119(2), pages 457-488, May.
  9. Uri Gneezy & Aldo Rustichini, 2000. "Pay Enough Or Don'T Pay At All," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, MIT Press, vol. 115(3), pages 791-810, August.
  10. Atila Abdulkadiroğlu & Parag A. Pathak & Alvin E. Roth, 2005. "The New York City High School Match," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 95(2), pages 364-367, May.
  11. Alvin E Roth & J K Murnighan, 1997. "The rule of information in bargaining: an experimental study," Levine's Working Paper Archive 1631, David K. Levine.
  12. Alvin E. Roth & Tayfun S�nmez, 2005. "A Kidney Exchange Clearinghouse in New England," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 95(2), pages 376-380, May.
  13. Gary S. Becker & Julio Jorge El�as, 2007. "Introducing Incentives in the Market for Live and Cadaveric Organ Donations," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 21(3), pages 3-24, Summer.
  14. Christopher Avery & Christine Jolls & Richard Posner & Alvin E. Roth, 2007. "The New Market for Federal Judicial Law Clerks," NBER Working Papers 13213, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  15. Alvin E. Roth & Elliott Peranson, 1999. "The Redesign of the Matching Market for American Physicians: Some Engineering Aspects of Economic Design," NBER Working Papers 6963, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  16. Fréchette, Guillaume & Unver, M. Utku & Roth, Alvin, 2007. "Unraveling Yields Inefficient Matchings: Evidence from Post-Season College Football Bowls," Scholarly Articles 2570385, Harvard University Department of Economics.
  17. Kuran, T., 1995. "Islamic Economics and the Islamic Subeconomy," Papers, Southern California - Department of Economics 9505, Southern California - Department of Economics.
  18. Justin Wolfers & Eric Zitzewitz, 2004. "Prediction Markets," NBER Working Papers 10504, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  19. repec:reg:wpaper:259 is not listed on IDEAS
  20. Kahneman, Daniel & Knetsch, Jack L & Thaler, Richard, 1986. "Fairness as a Constraint on Profit Seeking: Entitlements in the Market," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 76(4), pages 728-41, September.
  21. Roth, Alvin E & Xing, Xiaolin, 1994. "Jumping the Gun: Imperfections and Institutions Related to the Timing of Market Transactions," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 84(4), pages 992-1044, September.
  22. Leonard Thomas C., 2004. "The Price is Wrong: Causes and Consequences of Ethical Restraint of Trade," Journal des Economistes et des Etudes Humaines, De Gruyter, De Gruyter, vol. 14(2), pages 1-20, December.
  23. repec:reg:rpubli:259 is not listed on IDEAS
  24. Kaushik Basu, 2003. "The Economics and Law of Sexual Harassment in the Workplace," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 17(3), pages 141-157, Summer.
  25. Posner, Richard A. & Avery, Christopher & Jolls, Christine & Roth, Alvin, 2001. "The Market for Federal Judicial Law Clerks," Scholarly Articles 2623748, Harvard University Department of Economics.
  26. Joseph Persky, 2007. "Retrospectives: From Usury to Interest," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 21(1), pages 227-236, Winter.
  27. Roth, Alvin E, 1984. "The Evolution of the Labor Market for Medical Interns and Residents: A Case Study in Game Theory," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, University of Chicago Press, vol. 92(6), pages 991-1016, December.
  28. Timur Kuran, 1995. "Islamic Economics and the Islamic Subeconomy," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 9(4), pages 155-173, Fall.
  29. Roth, Alvin E. & Malouf, Michael W. K. & Murnighan, J. Keith, 1981. "Sociological versus strategic factors in bargaining," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 2(2), pages 153-177, June.
  30. Richard Schmalensee & Paul L. Joskow & A. Denny Ellerman & Juan Pablo Montero & Elizabeth M. Bailey, 1998. "An Interim Evaluation of Sulfur Dioxide Emissions Trading," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 12(3), pages 53-68, Summer.
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Blog mentions

As found by EconAcademics.org, the blog aggregator for Economics research:
  1. Blogs review: Markets without a price
    by ? in Bruegel blog on 2012-10-19 09:51:55
  2. Resources for Organ Donation
    by Liam Delaney in Economics, Psychology and Policy on 2011-05-05 23:46:00
  3. Boobonomics
    by Economic Logician in Economic Logic on 2007-12-28 21:48:00
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