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.
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(Erasmus Journal of Philosophy and Economics; Forthcoming in Review of Austrian Economics)