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Market, State, and CommunityTheoretical Foundations of Market Socialism$
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David Miller

Print publication date: 1990

Print ISBN-13: 9780198278641

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: November 2003

DOI: 10.1093/0198278640.001.0001

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Consumer Sovereignty

Consumer Sovereignty

Chapter:
(p.127) 5 Consumer Sovereignty
Source:
Market, State, and Community
Author(s):

David Miller (Contributor Webpage)

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/0198278640.003.0006

Economic markets are often defended on the grounds that they are the most effective mechanism we have for satisfying the desires of consumers. This defence can apparently be undercut by pointing out that markets often generate the desires that they then proceed to fulfil. The chapter explores different ways in which people's wants can be less than optimal from the point of view of their welfare, and concludes that attempts to intervene politically to prevent this happening are unlikely to succeed. The claim that production should respond to needs rather than wants is also considered.

Keywords:   adaptive preferences, addiction, consumers, desires, efficiency, markets, needs, welfare

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