Moral markets: A marginalistic interpretation of Adam Smith

Article

Abstract

The article is built upon James Otteson's analogy between the structure of moral and economic rules. In Otteson's interpretation of Adam Smith's works both of them develop from an exchange of information of interacting agents. We develop that concept about Adam Smith's Theory of Moral Sentiments, analyzing those exchanges, and considering them Moral Market processes, in the Austrian Tradition of markets as processes. We think that Smith's emphasis on graduality and his metaphor of the Impartial Spectator allows us to propose a marginalistic approach to those markets stating how, in some of them which we call moral exchanges of justice, and through a great number of exchanges, moral rules of justice emerge. Finally, we present the problems that arise when legislation tries to change the results of these exchanges, in what we called a price control in the moral market.

Keywords

Adam Smith Moral sentiments Marginalistic approach James Otteson Rational reconstruction 

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Universidad Francisco MarroquínGuatemala CityGuatemala
  2. 2.Universidad del Centro Educativo LatinoamericanoRosarioArgentina

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