The Journal of Value Inquiry

, Volume 51, Issue 4, pp 629–639 | Cite as

Not Really a Market Without Limits

  • Jasmine Carter

Jason Brennan and Peter M. Jaworski in Markets Without Limits (MWL) defend the thesis that if you can do it for free, you can do it for money; there are no inherent limits to what can be bought and sold. However, they state that their claim is not insisting that there should be a free, unregulated market, and indeed they hold the view that regulations can often resolve issues that arise in controversial markets. While I am in support of their general thesis, I argue that the MWL claim is not as strong as it could be and that they have not really proposed a market without limits.

MWL argues that the anti-commodification theorists misdiagnosed the problem—it is not what is being bought and sold that is the issue, but how things are being bought and sold.1 If a good or service is not wrong to own or perform, then the market does not introduce wrongness by buying or selling it. They concede, however, that there are reasons to be concerned about howwe buy and sell and offer regulations as...



I would like to give a very special thanks to James Stacey Taylor for his support of this project and his helpful comments on earlier versions of this paper. I am also grateful to Mike Huemer, Josh Straight, Virgil Storr, Peter Boettke, and Chris Coyne for discussions on markets that helped contribute to the final version of this paper.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V., part of Springer Nature 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.University of ColoradoBoulderUSA

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