Part 5 of 5 in series "Journal of Markets & Morality"

The Journal of Markets & Morality is a peer-reviewed academic journal published by the Acton Institute for the Study of Religion & Liberty. It seeks to bring together theologians, philosophers, economists, and other scholars for dialogue concerning the morality of the marketplace. From each issue that is made open access (1 year after publication) we select some articles for you.

This time: Vol 20, No 2 (2017) – full table of contents

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Selection of Articles from this Issue

Is a Just Price Enough? - Michael Wittmer

Abstract

A standard definition of a just price asserts that it is determined solely by “willing consent between buyer and seller.” This is a satisfactory prima facie definition, but its limitations are exposed in financial transactions that involve significant disparities in knowledge or power. Then it seems particularly important for a maximal definition of justice to incorporate the Golden Rule, so that a just price is “whatever amount is agreed upon by a willing buyer and a willing seller who do to the other as they would have done to them.” This article sharpens that definition through dialogue with such seminal philosophers as Thomas Aquinas, Joseph Fletcher, and Nicholas Wolterstorff, and it concludes with heuristic observations to stimulate further discovery.

Michael Wittmer, “Is Just Price Enough?” Journal of Markets & Morality 20, no. 2 (Fall 2017): 263-278

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Welfare, the Stoics, and Reference Dependence - Daniel R. Wilmoth

Abstract

Economic accounts of consumer welfare focus on the physical circumstances of consumers. In contrast, in many religious and philosophical traditions, welfare is thought to be largely independent of physical circumstances. This essay argues that the introduction of reference dependence enriches economic models of choice in a way that connects the economic account of welfare with the contrasting account offered by the Stoics. The Stoics wrote about the relationship between wealth and welfare, and the model of choice implicit in their writings involves comparison of consumption to a reference. When reference dependence appears in economic models, options for consumption are chosen after evaluation through comparison to a reference. For the Stoics, however, the reference itself was an object of choice. Choosing the right reference allowed the Stoics to achieve contentment even in adverse circumstances.

Daniel R. Wilmoth, “Welfare, the Stoics, and Reference Dependence,” Journal of Markets & Morality 20, no. 2 (Fall 2017): 299-310

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Review of Torkel Brekke's "Faithonomics: Religion and the Free Market" - Paul Oslington

Back cover description of book

Faithonomics uses economic theory to provide a new and unorthodox view of religion in today’s world. Drawing on state-of-the-art research and on case studies from around the globe, this book shows that religion should be analysed as a market similar to markets for other goods and services, like bottled water or haircuts. Faithonomics is about today’s religious markets, but in sweeping detours through the histories of Christianity, Islam, Buddhism and Hinduism, Brekke shows us the religious markets of the past, although these were sometimes heavily regulated by states. He argues that government ‘control’ over religious markets is often the cause of unforeseen and negative consequences. Many of today’s problems related to religion, like religious terrorism or rent-seeking by religious political parties, are easier to understand if we think like economists. Religious markets work best when they are relatively free. Religious organizations should be free to sell their products without unnecessary restrictions, but we have no good reason to grant them privileges in the form of subsidies or tax-breaks.

Paul Oslington, “Review of ‘Faithonomics: Religion and the Free Market’ by Torkel Brekke,” Journal of Markets & Morality 20, no. 2 (Fall 2017): …

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Review of Kolzoi's "Conservatives Against Capitalism; From the Industrial Revolution to Globalization" - Gregory L. Schneider

Back cover description of book

Few beliefs seem more fundamental to American conservatism than faith in the free market. Yet throughout American history, many of the major conservative intellectual and political figures have harbored deep misgivings about the unfettered market and its disruption of traditional values, hierarchies, and communities. In Conservatives Against Capitalism, Peter Kolozi traces the history of conservative skepticism about the influence of capitalism on politics, culture, and society.

Kolozi discusses conservative critiques of capitalism—from its threat to the Southern way of life to its emasculating effects on American society to the dangers of free trade—considering the positions of a wide-ranging set of individuals, including John Calhoun, Theodore Roosevelt, Russell Kirk, Irving Kristol, and Patrick J. Buchanan. He examines the ways in which conservative thought went from outright opposition to capitalism to more muted critiques, ultimately reconciling itself to the workings and ethos of the market.

By analyzing the unaddressed historical and present-day tensions between capitalism and conservative values, Kolozi shows that figures regarded as iconoclasts belong to a coherent tradition, and he creates a vital new understanding of the American conservative pantheon.

Gregory L. Schneider, “Review of ‘Conservatives Against Capitalism: From the Industrial Revolution to Globalization’ by Peter Kolozi,” Journal of Markets & Morality 20, no. 2 (Fall 2017): …

Full Text: PDF

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Series "Journal of Markets & Morality":

The Journal of Markets & Morality is a peer-reviewed academic journal published by the Acton Institute for the Study of Religion & Liberty. It seeks to bring together theologians, philosophers, economists, and other scholars for dialogue concerning the morality of the marketplace. From each issue that is made open access (1 year after publication) we select some articles for you.


Articles in this series:
  1. Journal of Markets & Morality (vol.18, no.2)
  2. Journal of Markets & Morality (vol. 19, no. 1)
  3. Journal of Markets & Morality (vol. 19, no. 2)
  4. Journal of Markets & Morality (vol. 20, no. 1)
  5. Journal of Markets & Morality (vol. 20, no. 2)