v7n4: Heath on Moriarty on The Market Failures Approach

Is the “Point” of the
 Market Pareto or
 Kaldor-Hicks Efficiency?, by Joseph Heath

A COMMENTARY ON Jeffrey Moriarty (2019), “On the Origin, Content, and Relevance of the Market Failures Approach,” J Bus Ethics: (first online 17 January 2019) 1–12, 

Moriarty argues that the Market Failures Approach (MFA) to business ethics is inapplicable to “real world” problems, because it treats “market failure” as a failure to achieve Pareto efficiency. Depending upon how it is applied, Pareto efficiency is either trivially easy to satisfy or else so demanding that no real-world market could ever satisfy it. In this Commentary, I argue that Moriarty overstates these difficulties. The regulatory structure governing markets is best understood as an attempt to maximize the number of Pareto-improving exchanges that occur. There is no reason to think business self-regulation cannot be guided by the same normative-conceptual framework.

To download the full PDF, click here: Heath on Moriarty’s Critique

Joseph Heath is a professor in the Department of Philosophy at the University of Toronto.

See also, in BEJR, these pieces related to Prof Heath’s work:

v7n3: Repp and Contat: Can Heath Deal With Steinberg’s Objection?

v6n9: Gustafson on Hsieh’s Challenge to Heath

v5n5: Steinberg on Heath on Non-Ideal Markets

v5 n3 Smith on Singer on Justice Failure

v4 n10 Silver on Heath on the Market Failures Approach

v1n8: Heath Responds to Jaworski

v1n1: Jaworski on Heath

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