Gender, Race, and the Economy: Social Constructs All

Source: EconLog
by Akiva Malamet

“Over the past few years, I have noticed a discourse on the left [sic] that highlights the socially constructed nature of markets. These commentators argue that markets are mere social conventions and are therefore unreal and easily malleable. They claim that it is only due to greed, insufficient empathy, and/or the pernicious influence of pro-market forces that socialism or similar ideas have yet to be implemented, and that any inequities persist. Commentators may also conflate being pro-business with being pro-market. While they insist on capitalism as an arbitrary construct, many advocates adhere to an objective theory of economic value (particularly of labour). … This discourse has a contrasting parallel on the political right [sic]. Many conservatives and libertarians (and most economists) argue that economics is ‘real’ and markets are necessary due to the fact of material scarcity and the presence of costs and tradeoffs.” (11/14/22)