Can Trust, Reciprocity and Friendships Survive Contact with the Market?
Economics and the Virtues: Building a New Moral Foundation, eds. Jennifer A. Baker and Mark D. White (Oxford University Press, 2016)
Posted: 1 Apr 2019
Date Written: 2016
The market is a tool. It is a social machine that links prospective buyers with prospective sellers. It is a social arena where prospective buyers compete with one another to secure the goods and services that they desire, and where prospective sellers compete with each other to attract customers for their wares. If a buyer and a seller agree on the terms of the trade (including the price), the buyer gives the seller something of value (for example, money or a money equivalent) in exchange for the good or service that the seller is offering. Buyers succeed in the market when they secure the goods and services that they want at the price that they are willing to pay (when the services that they want at the price that they are willing to pay (when the utility they gain from the good is greater than the utility from what they must give up to purchase the good). Sellers succeed in the market when the selling price is greater than the cost (when they earn a profit).
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