Institutional Processes from John R. Commons to Michael Walzer: An Image of the Market as a Sphere of Human Interaction

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“Institutionalists from the time of John R. Commons have long been convinced of the central role that governments play in the economy. Michael Walzer's view of justice attributes a critically important role to governmental decision making in attempting to prevent the dominance of one good over others. Concretely, in our culture, the very meaning of many of the other goods that we value will only be protected if we have laws constraining the influence of money and market relationships. This paper argues that Walzer's view can be extended and made more helpful within economics by joining it with the visual image of the market as an arena bounded by fences – fences that are legal restrictions preventing certain activities from occurring within the market.”


Author is listed in this article as “Daniel Rush Finn.”