Business Ethics Quarterly 18 (3):347-378 (2008)

Authors
Matt Zwolinski
University of San Diego
Abstract
Price gouging occurs when, in the wake of an emergency, sellers of a certain necessary goods sharply raise their prices beyond the level needed to cover increased costs. Most people think that price gouging is immoral, and most states have laws rendering the practice a civil or criminal offense. The purpose of this paper is to explore some of the philosophic issues surrounding price gouging, and to argue that the common moral condemnation of it is largely mistaken. I make this argument in three steps, by rebutting three widely held beliefs about the ethics of price gouging: 1) that laws prohibiting price gouging are morally justified, 2) that price gouging is morally impermissible behavior, even if it ought not be illegal, and 3) that price gouging reflects poorly on the moral character of those who engage in it, even if the act itself is not morally impermissible.
Keywords Business Ethics  Price Gouging  Efficiency  Exlpoitation  Hayek  Coercion
Categories (categorize this paper)
ISBN(s) 1052-150X
DOI 10.5840/beq200818327
Options
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: 71,316
Through your library

References found in this work BETA

Famine, Affluence, and Morality.Peter Singer - 1972 - Philosophy and Public Affairs 1 (3):229-243.
Summa Theologica.Thomasn D. Aquinas - 1274 - Hayes Barton Press.
The Morality of Freedom.Joseph Raz - 1986 - Philosophy 63 (243):119-122.
The Morality of Law.Lon Luvois Fuller - 1964 - New Haven: Yale University Press.

View all 30 references / Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

Big Data and Personalized Pricing.Etye Steinberg - 2019 - Business Ethics Quarterly 30 (1):97-117.
What’s the Matter with Price Gouging?Jeremy Snyder - 2009 - Business Ethics Quarterly 19 (2):275-293.

View all 39 citations / Add more citations

Similar books and articles

Price Gouging and Market Failure.Matt Zwolinski - 2010 - In Gerald Gaus, Julian Lamont & Christi Favor (eds.), ESSAYS ON PHILOSOPHY, POLITICS & ECONOMIC: INTEGRATION AND COMMON RESEARCH PROJECTS. Stanford University Press.
Dialogue on Price Gouging.Matt Zwolinski - 2009 - Business Ethics Quarterly 19 (2):295-303.
Price Gouging, Non-Worseness, and Distributive Justice.Matt Zwolinski - 2009 - Business Ethics Quarterly 19 (2):295-306.
Efficiency, Equity, and Price Gouging: A Response to Zwolinski.Jeremy Snyder - 2009 - Business Ethics Quarterly 19 (2):303-306.

Analytics

Added to PP index
2009-01-28

Total views
318 ( #33,551 of 2,519,512 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
19 ( #44,298 of 2,519,512 )

How can I increase my downloads?

Downloads

My notes