Repugnance as a Constraint on Markets
Alvin Roth ()
Scholarly Articles from Harvard University Department of Economics
This essay examines how repugnance sometimes constrains what transactions and markets we see. When my colleagues and I have helped design markets and allocation procedures, we have often found that distaste for certain kinds of transactions is a real constraint, every bit as real as the constraints imposed by technology or by the requirements of incentives and efficiency. Iâ€™ll first consider a range of examples, from slavery and indentured servitude (which once were not as repugnant as they now are) to lending money for interest (which used to be widely repugnant and is now not), and from bans on eating horse meat in California to bans on dwarf tossing in France. An example of special interest will be the widespread laws against the buying and selling of organs for transplantation. The historical record suggests that while repugnance can change over time, it can persist for a very long time, although changes in institutions that reflect repugnance can occur relatively quickly when the underlying repugnance changes.
References: View references in EconPapers View complete reference list from CitEc
Citations: View citations in EconPapers (118) Track citations by RSS feed
Published in Journal of Economic Perspectives
Downloads: (external link)
Journal Article: Repugnance as a Constraint on Markets (2007)
Working Paper: Repugnance as a Constraint on Markets (2006)
This item may be available elsewhere in EconPapers: Search for items with the same title.
Export reference: BibTeX
RIS (EndNote, ProCite, RefMan)
Persistent link: https://EconPapers.repec.org/RePEc:hrv:faseco:2624677
Access Statistics for this paper
More papers in Scholarly Articles from Harvard University Department of Economics Contact information at EDIRC.
Bibliographic data for series maintained by Office for Scholarly Communication ().