GINNY SEUNG CHOI
Senior Fellow, F. A. Hayek Program for Advanced Studies in Philosophy, Politics, and Economics
Program Director, Academic & Student Programs, Mercatus Center
Senior Research Fellow, Mercatus Center
Ginny Choi is a Program Director of Academic & Student Programs, a Senior Fellow with 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. She holds a PhD in Economics from George Mason University (Fairfax, VA, USA), an MA in Economics from New York University (New York, NY, USA), and a BA in Economics from Emory University (Atlanta, GA, USA). She has also attended the General Course at the London School of Economics and Political Science (London, UK).
Ginny specializes in Austrian and experimental economics, with a particular focus on the moral and social aspects of markets. Do Markets Corrupt Our Morals? (with Virgil Storr), published by Palgrave Macmillan (2019), explores whether or not engaging in market activities is morally corrupting and invites us to reassess the claim that markets corrupt our morals. Her work in political economy has been published in academic journals and other scholarly outlets, including PLOS ONE, Public Choice, and Evolutionary and Institutional Economics Review.
Before joining Mercatus, Ginny was an Assistant Professor of Economics at the Alex G. McKenna School of Business, Economics and Government at Saint Vincent College (Latrobe, PA, USA). Originally from South Korea, she spent most of her formative years in Jakarta, Indonesia.
Updated August 2021
Do Markets Corrupt Our Morals (with Virgil H. Storr), Palgrave Macmillan, 2019. ISBN: 978-3030184155.
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.
Watch our book trailers on YouTube! (Video 1, Video 2)
Journal Articles & Contributions to Books
• “A Framework for Understanding Culture, Sociality and Morality in Mainline Political Economy” (with Paul D. Aligica and Virgil H. Storr), Culture, Sociality, and Morality: New Applications of Mainline Political Economy, ed. Paul D. Aligica, Ginny S. Choi and Virgil H. Storr (Rowan & Littlefield, Forthcoming)
• “The market as a process for the discovery of whom not to trust” (with Virgil H. Storr), Journal of Institutional Economics, 2021.
• “Clientelism and identity” (with James Habyarimana, Daniel Houser, Stuti Khemani, Viktor Brech, and Moumita Roy), Economic and Political Studies, 2020.
• “Growing up in the market: The character traits that markets reward and punish” (with Virgil H. Storr), The Impact of the Market: On Character Formation, Ethical Education and the Communication of Values in the Late Modern Pluralistic Societies, eds. Jurgen von Hagen, Michael Welker, John Witte and Stephen Pickard Leipzig: Evangelische Verlagsanstalt GmbH, 2020.
• “Measuring Markets and Morality” (with Virgil H. Storr), Erasmus Journal for Philosophy and Economics, 2020.
• “Market interactions, trust and reciprocity” (with Virgil H. Storr), PLoS ONE, 2020.
• “A culture of rent seeking” (with Virgil H. Storr), Public Choice, 2019.
• “Market institutions and the evolution of culture” (with Virgil H. Storr), Evolutionary and Institutional Economics Review, 2018.
• “Markets as moral training grounds” (with Virgil H. Storr) in Annual Proceedings of the Wealth and Well-Being of Nations, ed. Warren Palmer. Beloit: Beloit College Press, 2017.
• “Can trust, reciprocity and friendship survive contact with the market?” (with Virgil H. Storr) in Economics and the Virtues: Building a New Moral Foundation, eds. Jennifer A. Baker and Mark D. White. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2016.
Selected Current Projects
Market Friendships: Exploring the Social Life of Markets (with Virgil H. Storr), under contract with Cambridge University Press.
Journal Articles & Contributions to Books
• “The social and moral aspects of markets” (with Virgil H. Storr)
• “Aristotelian friendship in the market” (with Rachael Behr and Virgil H. Storr)
George Mason University
4400 University Drive, PPE 1A1
Fairfax, VA 22030
James Buchanan Hall
GMU Fairfax Campus
Email & Telephone
gchoi [at] mercatus [dot] gmu [dot] edu