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What's the Good of the Market? An Essay on Michael Sandel's What Money Can't Buy

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  • Timothy Besley

Abstract

This essay will discuss the criticisms of the economic approach to markets offered by Michael Sandel’s What Money Can’t Buy. After reviewing the main arguments, the essay looks at these from three main angles. First, it relates them to different traditions of thinking about markets and their achievements that have been developed by economists. Second, it discusses the idea that markets can change values as argued by Sandel in light of recent related literature in economics. Third, it discusses some of the literature on alternatives to using the market to allocate resources and the pros and cons of these.

Suggested Citation

  • Timothy Besley, 2013. "What's the Good of the Market? An Essay on Michael Sandel's What Money Can't Buy," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 51(2), pages 478-495, June.
  • Handle: RePEc:aea:jeclit:v:51:y:2013:i:2:p:478-95
    Note: DOI: 10.1257/jel.51.2.478
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Blog mentions

    As found by EconAcademics.org, the blog aggregator for Economics research:
    1. The Business of Business is More Than Business
      by Laura Tyson in Project Syndicate on 2013-10-31 21:30:12

    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Björn Bartling & Manuel Grieder & Christian Zehnder, 2014. "Let the Market Decide: An Experimental Study of Competition and Fairness," CESifo Working Paper Series 4831, CESifo Group Munich.
    2. Björn Bartling & Roberto A. Weber & Lan Yao, 2015. "Do Markets Erode Social Responsibility?," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 130(1), pages 219-266.
    3. Bernd Irlenbusch & David J. Saxler, 2015. "Social responsibility in market interaction," Cologne Graduate School Working Paper Series 06-05, Cologne Graduate School in Management, Economics and Social Sciences.
    4. Bartling Björn & Grieder Manuel & Zehnder Christian, 2014. "Does competition justify inequality?," ECON - Working Papers 158, Department of Economics - University of Zurich, revised Nov 2015.
    5. Timothy Besley & Maitreesh Ghatak, 2017. "Profit with Purpose? A Theory of Social Enterprise," American Economic Journal: Economic Policy, American Economic Association, vol. 9(3), pages 19-58, August.
    6. Irlenbusch, Bernd & Saxler, David, 2015. "Social Responsibility in Market Interaction," IZA Discussion Papers 9240, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    7. Julien Gagnon & Sanjeev Goyal, 2017. "Networks, Markets, and Inequality," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 107(1), pages 1-30, January.
    8. Sandmo, Agnar, 2014. "The Market in Economics: Behavioural Assumptions and Value Judgments," Discussion Paper Series in Economics 12/2014, Norwegian School of Economics, Department of Economics.
    9. Luigino Bruni & Robert Sugden, 2013. "Reclaiming Virtue Ethics for Economics," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 27(4), pages 141-164, Fall.
    10. Michael J. Sandel, 2013. "Market Reasoning as Moral Reasoning: Why Economists Should Re-engage with Political Philosophy," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 27(4), pages 121-140, Fall.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • A11 - General Economics and Teaching - - General Economics - - - Role of Economics; Role of Economists
    • A13 - General Economics and Teaching - - General Economics - - - Relation of Economics to Social Values
    • D40 - Microeconomics - - Market Structure, Pricing, and Design - - - General
    • D63 - Microeconomics - - Welfare Economics - - - Equity, Justice, Inequality, and Other Normative Criteria and Measurement
    • P10 - Economic Systems - - Capitalist Systems - - - General

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