Articles & Blogs on the Ethics of Markets / Economics / Business

Hajj: How Globalisation Transformed the Market for Pilgrimage to Mecca

“As long as they are fit and financially able, the pilgrimage is an obligatory act of worship that followers of Islam owe to God once in their lifetime. […] But until the introduction of modern transport systems, most Muslims beyond the Arab world had little expectation of completing this fifth and final pillar of Islam. […] A look at Hajj-going among British Muslims in an age of globalisation underlines the growing role of the market for religious tourism in shaping the organisation of the pilgrimage.”

Rethinking Social Progress in the 21st Century

What do we mean by social progress? That is the theme explored by the International Panel on Social Progress, a group of over 300 academics, including Nobel Laureate Amartya Sen. After four years of work, their report has finally been published last month by Cambridge University Press, with a useful summary at www.ipsp.org. […] It looks at six policy domains: economics, education, environmental protection, health care, development and science and technology. There is one unifying theme across all six policy domains—the perennial debate over the role of markets versus the state.”

The Virtues of the Market: Wilhelm Röpke as a Cultural Economist

“Röpke’s work from the 1940’s onwards is an attempt to provide a unified analysis of the crisis of his times, among other things by figuring out the way in which culture, society, market and state relate to one another. […] This primacy of the cultural is also evident in Röpke’s view of the market. What he liked most about the market economy was, surprisingly, not its material effects but instead the bourgeois ethic that was intimately tied up with it.” More info on Röpke’s book “A Human Economy; The Social Framework of the Free Market” (1960).

The US Needs to Get over Its Obsession with GDP

“The Bureau of Economic Analysis on July 27 released the GDP growth rate for the second quarter of 2018: 4.1 percent. […] There was much celebration over the 4.1 percent rate, as this is higher than that experienced in recent years, but some in the media questioned its sustainability. That raises another critical question: Does it mean the economy is doing well and there is economic progress?”

What Is Corporate Social Responsibility – And Does It Work?

“CSR now means that many corporations now legally have to comply with particular social disclosure legislation.[…] So now that compulsory CSR has been around in some countries for a few years, do they actually work? I have been researching whether CSR actually advances corporate social transparency and accountability as expected.”

Conscious Stock Picking

“When my brother, Tom, and I keynoted the 2012 Conscious Capitalism CEO Summit, I told the room of 200 CEOs that I was going to pick a basket of 12 conscious, purpose-driven business’ stocks for 2012. […] But, here’s the kicker: instead of being backward-looking, I said let’s watch them going forward from here to see if they outperform their more traditional, bottom-line-driven competitors over time.”

How Can We Spread the Benefits of the Digital Economy?

“If there is one thing that the Cambridge Analytica scandal taught us, it’s that politicians are mostly clueless about the political implications tech and social media bring about for society.

What went largely unreported is that they also don’t have much of an idea about the economic transformation behind Facebook’s success in establishing a business model with near-monopolistic market power in social media, at least for the time being.”

Companies That Promise to Lighten Baby Skin Colour Reinforce Prejudice

“The hypothetical argument is that, so long as there are protections in place – it is medically safe, no one is coerced, and there is recourse to resolve disputes – then it should be permitted. However, there are moral arguments – most often raised in the case of disability, but no less relevant in other cases – against these practices.”

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