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When Are Markets Illegitimate?

Greene, A; (2020) When Are Markets Illegitimate? Social Philosophy and Policy , 36 (2) pp. 212-241. 10.1017/S0265052519000426. Green open access

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In this essay I defend an alternative account of why markets are legitimate. I argue that markets have a raison d'être—a potential to be valuable that, if fulfilled, would justify their existence. I characterize this potential in terms of the goods that are promoted by the legal protection of economic agency: resource discretion, contribution esteem, wealth, diffusion of power, and freedom of association. I argue that market institutions deliver these goods without requiring the participants to have shared ends, or shared deliberation about joint ends—indeed, this feature is the source of the market’s distinctive contribution to well-being. I suggest that when markets lack legitimacy, this is because they fail to fulfill their raison d’être, or fail to be recognized as doing so. Thus, the contours of legal protection must be drawn so that these goods are realized together in a recognizable way, without sacrificing one good for the sake of others. Finally, I argue that this account is appealing because it allows regulators to consider a plurality of goods, and because it makes room for the essential role of rhetoric in securing market legitimacy.

Type: Article
Title: When Are Markets Illegitimate?
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1017/S0265052519000426
Publisher version: https://doi.org/10.1017/S0265052519000426
Language: English
Additional information: This version is the author accepted manuscript. For information on re-use, please refer to the publisher’s terms and conditions.
Keywords: market, legitimacy, esteem, wealth, regulation, economic rights, economic justice
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH > Faculty of Arts and Humanities
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH > Faculty of Arts and Humanities > Dept of Philosophy
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10084896
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