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Repugnance as a Constraint on Markets

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  • Roth, Alvin

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 once were not as repugnant as they now are) to lending money for interest (which used to be widely repugnant and is now not), 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 Harvard University Department of Economics in its series Scholarly Articles with number 2624677.

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Date of creation: 2007
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Publication status: Published in Journal of Economic Perspectives
Handle: RePEc:hrv:faseco:2624677

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References

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  1. Alvin E. Roth & Tayfun Sonmez & M. Utku Unver, 2004. "Pairwise Kidney Exchange," NBER Working Papers 10698, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Wolfers, Justin & Zitzewitz, Eric, 2004. "Prediction Markets," Research Papers, Stanford University, Graduate School of Business 1854, Stanford University, Graduate School of Business.
  3. 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, American Economic Association, vol. 76(4), pages 728-41, September.
  4. Sönmez, Tayfun & Pathak, Parag A. & Abdulkadiroglu, Atila & Roth, Alvin, 2005. "The Boston Public School Match," Scholarly Articles 2562764, Harvard University Department of Economics.
  5. Alvin E Roth & Tayfun Sönmez & M. Utku Ünver, 2005. "Efficient Kidney Exchange: Coincidence of Wants in a Structured Market," Levine's Bibliography 784828000000000126, UCLA Department of Economics.
  6. Atila AbdulkadiroÄŸlu & Parag A. Pathak & Alvin E. Roth, 2005. "The New York City High School Match," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, American Economic Association, vol. 95(2), pages 364-367, May.
  7. 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.
  8. Alvin E. Roth & Tayfun Sonmez & M. Utku Unver, 2003. "Kidney Exchange," NBER Working Papers 10002, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  9. Alvin E Roth & Richard A Posner & Christine Jolls & Christopher Avery, 2007. "The New Market for Federal Judicial Law Clerks," Levine's Bibliography 843644000000000288, UCLA Department of Economics.
  10. 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.
  11. Alvin E. Roth & Tayfun S�nmez, 2005. "A Kidney Exchange Clearinghouse in New England," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, American Economic Association, vol. 95(2), pages 376-380, May.
  12. 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, American Economic Association, vol. 84(4), pages 992-1044, September.
  13. repec:reg:wpaper:259 is not listed on IDEAS
  14. Gneezy, U. & Rustichini, A., 1998. "Pay Enough - Or Don't Pay at All," Discussion Paper, Tilburg University, Center for Economic Research 1998-57, Tilburg University, Center for Economic Research.
  15. M.Utku Unver, 2004. "Unraveling Yields Inefficient Matching: Evidence from Post-Season College Football Bowls," Working Papers, University of Pittsburgh, Department of Economics 259, University of Pittsburgh, Department of Economics, revised Jan 2004.
  16. Kuran, T., 1995. "Islamic Economics and the Islamic Subeconomy," Papers, Southern California - Department of Economics 9505, Southern California - Department of Economics.
  17. Roth, Alvin E & Murnighan, J Keith, 1982. "The Role of Information in Bargaining: An Experimental Study," Econometrica, Econometric Society, Econometric Society, vol. 50(5), pages 1123-42, September.
  18. 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.
  19. 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, American Economic Association, vol. 12(3), pages 53-68, Summer.
  20. Roth, Alvin E. & Malouf, Michael W. K. & Murnighan, J. Keith, 1981. "Sociological versus strategic factors in bargaining," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, Elsevier, vol. 2(2), pages 153-177, June.
  21. 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.
  22. 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.
  23. Joseph Persky, 2007. "Retrospectives: From Usury to Interest," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, American Economic Association, vol. 21(1), pages 227-236, Winter.
  24. repec:reg:rpubli:259 is not listed on IDEAS
  25. 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.
  26. Basu, Kaushik, 2003. "The Economics and Law of Sexual Harassment in the Workplace," Working Papers, Cornell University, Center for Analytic Economics 03-07, Cornell University, Center for Analytic Economics.
  27. 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.
  28. Timur Kuran, 1995. "Islamic Economics and the Islamic Subeconomy," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, American Economic Association, vol. 9(4), pages 155-173, Fall.
  29. 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, American Economic Association, vol. 81(3), pages 415-40, June.
  30. 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, American Economic Association, vol. 21(3), pages 3-24, Summer.
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  1. Resources for Organ Donation
    by Liam Delaney in Economics, Psychology and Policy on 2011-05-05 23:46:00
  2. Boobonomics
    by Economic Logician in Economic Logic on 2007-12-28 21:48:00
  3. Blogs review: Markets without a price
    by ? in Bruegel blog on 2012-10-19 09:51:55
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