Articles & blogs on the COVID-19 crisis

Is the COVID-19 crisis an opportunity to revisit capitalism to make it more green and equitable? What will be the future and meaning of work in the post-COVID-19 economy? Does the crisis change our ideas about concepts underlying our current economy, such as on freedom and well-being? Are big companies taking their responsibility, or are they taking advantage of the crisis? And what is the ethics of online shopping in these times?

Moral Markets is hand-picking the most interesting and insightful articles and blogs on such questions from around the web. We try to make sure to include a variety of perspectives on the COVID-19 crisis, to aid your own reflection on ethics and economics.

Tag: the COVID-19 crisis

What Good Business Looks Like

“Fifty years ago Milton Friedman famously wrote that ‘the social responsibility of business is to increase its profits.’ The doctrine of shareholder supremacy was born and, notwithstanding a growing movement towards a more conscious capitalism, continues to reign. Suddenly, even that axiom feels less self-evidently true than did it a few months ago. We are seeing a rising number of companies showing up in this crisis with humanity. They are stretching themselves to support stakeholders other than their investors: employees, customers, suppliers, and wider society.”, so Paul Polman, Raj Sisodia and Kip Tindell argue.

Making the Best of a Post-Pandemic World

“All three – greater government action, retreat from hyper-globalism, and lower growth rates – predate the pandemic. And while they could be viewed as posing significant dangers to human prosperity, it is also possible that they are harbingers of a more sustainable, more inclusive global economy.”, says economist Dani Rodrik.

Navigating Deglobalization

“Appeals to recommit to globalization are highly unlikely to gain traction in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. Those keen to preserve globalization would instead be better advised to focus on minimizing the disruption caused by the coming period of deglobalization and laying the groundwork for a more sustainable process thereafter.”

Could Price Gouging during a Crisis Actually Be Moral?

“Paper products, hand sanitizer, masks, and cleaning wipes—all are in high demand and short supply during the COVID-19 crisis. Price gougers are viewed as villains in this crisis—but two scholars argue that price gouging is, in most cases, morally permissible. Increased prices prevent unnecessary hoarding. Buyers purchase only what they need when they need it. Also, producers are incentivized to make more. When the supply rises, prices will fall.”

Think Big Pharma Won’t Profiteer in the Race to Treat Coronavirus? Think Again

“Rosie Collington […] has studied how major insulin manufacturing companies jack up prices in order to line the pockets of shareholders, leaving many diabetics at risk of kidney failure, blindness, and even death if they can’t afford to pony up. Amid the Covid-19 crisis, some are hoping pharmaceutical companies can stop prioritizing profits over human life and redeem themselves following decades of abuses ranging from price gouging to tax dodging. […] In the following interview, Collington explores what’s at stake”

COVID-19 and the End of Individualism

“The sudden stop to economic activity underscores a truth about the modern, interconnected economy: what affects some parts substantially affects the whole. This web of linkages is therefore a vulnerability when disrupted. But it is also a strength, because it shows once again how the division of labor makes everyone better off, exactly as Adam Smith pointed out over two centuries ago”, economist Diane Coyle argues.

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