Business Ethics Quarterly 31 (1):138-161 (2021)

Jeff Frooman
University of New Brunswick
The market failures approach to business ethics argues that economic theory regarding the efficient workings of a market can generate normative prescriptions for managerial behaviour. It argues that actions that inhibit Pareto optimal solutions are immoral. However, the approach fails to identify goods that should be regulated or prohibited from the market, something common to the moral limits to markets approach to business ethics. There are, however, numerous assumptions underlying Paretian efficiency, including some about the preferences of market participants. Trade in some goods violates some of these assumptions, and so these goods are morally suspect and can be understood to indicate that the market for these goods is not moral. This creates grounds sufficient for regulating, and possibly prohibiting, these goods. To help determine whether it is then necessary to regulate the goods, I propose a supplementary economic analysis to ascertain why an assumption regarding a particular preference is being violated.
Keywords No keywords specified (fix it)
Categories (categorize this paper)
DOI 10.1017/beq.2020.42
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Request removal from index
Revision history

Download options

PhilArchive copy

Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy     Papers currently archived: 59,759
External links

Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
Through your library

References found in this work BETA

Capitalism and Freedom.Milton Friedman - 1962 - Ethics 74 (1):70-72.
Intransitivity of Preferences.Amos Tversky - 1969 - Psychological Review 76 (1):31-48.
Games and Decisions: Introduction and Critical Survey.R. Duncan Luce & Howard Raiffa - 1958 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 19 (1):122-123.
Business Ethics Without Stakeholders.Joseph Heath - 2006 - Business Ethics Quarterly 16 (4):533-558.

View all 26 references / Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

No citations found.

Add more citations

Similar books and articles

Public Health, Public Goods, and Market Failure.L. Chad Horne - 2019 - Public Health Ethics 12 (3):287-292.
The Ethical Limitations of the Market.Elizabeth Anderson - 1990 - Economics and Philosophy 6 (2):179.
Institutional Pluralism and the Limits of the Market.Rutger J. G. Claassen - 2009 - Politics, Philosophy and Economics 8 (4):420-447.
Moral Problems in the Provision of Environmental Goods.Edward Frank Tverdek - 1998 - Dissertation, University of Illinois at Chicago
Why the Intrinsic Value of Public Goods Matters.Avigail Ferdman - 2017 - Critical Review of International Social and Political Philosophy:1-16.
Expressive Objections to Markets: Normative, Not Symbolic.Daniel Layman - 2016 - Business Ethics Journal Review 4 (1):1-6.
Hope, Self-Transcendence and Environmental Ethics.John Nolt - 2010 - Inquiry: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Philosophy 53 (2):162 – 182.
Transformable Goods and the Limits of What Money Can Buy.David G. Dick - 2017 - Moral Philosophy and Politics 4 (1):121-140.
Priceless Goods: How Should Life-Saving Drugs Be Priced?Ian Maitland - 2002 - Business Ethics Quarterly 12 (4):451-480.
Priceless Goods: How Should Life-Saving Drugs Be Priced?Ian Maitland - 2002 - Business Ethics Quarterly 12 (4):451-480.
Market Failure.David Schmidtz - 1993 - Critical Review: A Journal of Politics and Society 7 (4):525-537.


Added to PP index

Total views
3 ( #1,300,357 of 2,432,630 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
3 ( #214,055 of 2,432,630 )

How can I increase my downloads?


My notes