The Nuclear Family and Antagonism Towards Markets

Michael C. Jensen

Social Science Electronic Publishing (SSEP), Inc.; Harvard Business School; National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER); European Corporate Governance Institute (ECGI)

William H. Meckling

Simon School, University of Rochester (Deceased)

June 1, 1977

Harvard Business School NOM Unit Working Paper No. 1977

Why do we so often find the press carrying glowing stories of the benefits derived from governmental programs such as urban renewal (often-times even when they are in the process of failing miserably)? In view of this, why are we so seldom treated to glowing reports by the press about how a housing developer, for example, has improved the standard of living of 5,000 families by planning and completing a new subdivision of 5,000 homes? - a feat made no less remarkable (as compared to urban renewal) through its accomplishment by voluntary exchange!

Or to put the issue in its starkest form: Why is it that the public at large is so basically antagonistic towards markets in general? There exists in many, if not most people, a deep seated belief that man should not be motivated by monetary rewards. This belief is reflected in many cultural traditions, one of which is called the Golden Rule. We believe a major element in the determination of these attitudes is the structure of the family, in particular the way in which we raise children and the reflection of these values in religious dogma.

Number of Pages in PDF File: 7

Keywords: Family, values, markets, Golden Rule, press

JEL Classification: H30, H31, Z00

Open PDF in Browser Download This Paper

Date posted: November 24, 2004 ; Last revised: January 17, 2011

Suggested Citation

Jensen, Michael C. and Meckling, William H., The Nuclear Family and Antagonism Towards Markets (June 1, 1977). Harvard Business School NOM Unit Working Paper No. 1977. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=624566 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.624566

Contact Information

Michael C. Jensen (Contact Author)
Social Science Electronic Publishing (SSEP), Inc. ( email )
7858 Sanderling Road
Sarasota, FL 34242
United States
617-510-3363 (Phone)
305 675-3166 (Fax)
HOME PAGE: http://ssrn.com/author=9

Harvard Business School ( email )
Soldiers Field
Negotiations, Organizations & Markets
Boston, MA 02163
United States
617-510-3363 (Phone)
305-675-3166 (Fax)
HOME PAGE: http://drfd.hbs.edu/fit/public/facultyInfo.do?facInfo=ovr&facId=6484

National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER) ( email )
1050 Massachusetts Avenue
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States
European Corporate Governance Institute (ECGI) ( email )
B-1050 Brussels
William H. Meckling
Simon School, University of Rochester (Deceased)

Feedback to SSRN

Paper statistics
Abstract Views: 2,666
Downloads: 255
Download Rank: 93,987