The social and moral aspects of markets

Published by Elgar Online

Originally published in A Modern Guide to Austrian Economics

Neoclassical economics operate on curious notions of people and markets. Studying social interactions and relationships, and the rules of engagement that govern these interactions and relationships in the market setting is difficult, if not impossible, within a framework that perceives of the market as a series of coded commands and of human beings as atoms which mechanically and automatically execute their own sequence of encrypted instructions. In this chapter, we argue that the Austrian theory of the market as a process and as the order that results from that process provides a useful framework to explore the morality and sociality of markets. The Austrian framework that models human beings as human beings and also permits (in its theories) the possibility of meaningful and thriving social relationships developing in various institutional settings uniquely equips us with the tools to rigorously examine the sociality and morality of markets.

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