Repugnant Markets: Should Everything Be For Sale?
Sunday, June 3, 2018

What is it

We might ban buying or selling horse meat in the US not for the protection of horses, but because we find it morally repugnant. Yet this moral repugnance is clearly not universal, and on some level may even be arbitrary, given France's attitude towad horse meat. What role, if any, should moral repugnance play in determining the rules of our marketplaces? Even if we want to eliminate the influence of moral repugnance, can we? Debra and Ken hold their noses with Nobel Prize-winning economist Al Roth, author of Who Gets What ― and Why: The New Economics of Matchmaking and Market Design.

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Comments (2)


Harold G. Neuman

Thursday, May 31, 2018 -- 9:53 AM

The old (and still somewhat

The old (and still somewhat used) saw goes: there is no accounting for taste. If someone wants to create and sell it, someone else will probably want to buy and use it. Supply and demand. The oldest maxim in Economics.

Devon

Monday, June 4, 2018 -- 12:38 PM

The right to pollute

I would have liked to hear some discussion about whether carbon credits or cap-and-trade programs are effective market mechanisms that ultimately benefit the public or are, as they are sometimes characterized, a repugnant means for buying the immoral right to pollute.

Alvin E. Roth, The Craig and Susan McCaw Professor of Economics, Stanford University

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