The Normative Foundations of the Market

See photos from the workshop

March 15-16, 2024

About the Workshop

This workshop brings together scholars from various disciplines who work on foundational normative questions related to markets.

Markets arise and operate through law – not just through public regulation but also through private law regimes (in property, contract, and tort) that create entitlements, enforce market exchanges, and limit expropriation. The operation of markets also reflects and reinforces a set of social norms – e.g., atomism, competition, douceur, etc.—and these too bear no necessary connection to market activity. Thus, any particular market architecture is not inevitable, but rather the result of a complex set of choices and developments.

The contingent, constructed nature of the legal rules and social norms that guide the market – or, maybe, markets (since different markets may be differently designed) – implies that the legal and social infrastructure of the market can, and indeed should, be normatively evaluated. The purpose of this interdisciplinary workshop on The Normative Foundations of the Market is to critically investigate the normative underpinnings that can, should, or in fact do underlie the operation of the market (or of a specific market, such as the labor market or the housing market).

This workshop is co-organized with Carol and Lawrence Zicklin Center for Business Ethics Research at The Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania.


Friday, March 15, 2024

8:30 am: Gather

8:45 am: Opening remarks

9:00 am – 9:50 am: Session 1

Presenter: David Grewal, “The Wealth of Nations Problem”

Commentator: Rebecca Stone

9:50 am – 10:10 am: Break

10:10 am – 11:00 am: Session 2

Presenter: Brookes Brown, “If you owe me when I do it for free, why can’t I send you a bill? Fairness in interpersonal and commercial exchange”

Commentator: Ayelet Shachar

11:00 am – 11:20 am: Break

11:20 am – 12:10 pm: Session 3

Presenter: Robert Taylor, “Commercial Republicanism”

Commentator: Mikhail Xifaras

12:10 pm – 1:10 pm: Lunch

1:10 pm – 2:15 pm: Session 4

Presenter: Colin Mayer, “Capitalism and Crises: The Role of Law”

Commentators: Mehrsa Baradaran and Avihay Dorfman

2:15 pm – 2:35 pm: Break

2:35 pm – 3:25 pm: Session 5

Presenter: Tsilly Dagan, “The State and the Market – A Parable: On the State’s Commodifying Effects”

Commentator: Johanna Stark

3:25 pm – 3:45 pm: Break

3:45 pm – 4:35 pm: Session 6

Presenter: Manisha Padi, “Redistribution Through Financial Regulation”

Commentator: Daniel Markovits

Saturday, March 16, 2024

9:00 am – 9:30 am: Gather

9:30 am – 10:20 am: Session 8


Nien-hê Hsieh, “Dignity and Ownership”

Commentator: Tom Christiano

10:20 am – 10:40 am: Break

10:40 am – 11:30 am: Session 9

Presenter: Nicolas Cornell, “Ownership and the Ecological Community”

Commentator: Julie Rose

11:30 am – 11:50 am: Break

11:50 am – 12:40 pm: Session 10

Presenter: Amy Sepinwall, “The Supposed Freedom Not To Speak, in the Marketplace and Beyond”

Commentator: Chris Kutz

12:40 pm – 1:40 pm: Lunch


Abbye Atkinson (Berkeley)

Mehrsa Baradaran (UCI)

Brookes Brown (Toronto)

Thomas Christiano (Arizona)

Nicolas Cornell (Michigan)

Hanoch Dagan (Berkeley)

Tsilly Dagan (Oxford)

Dhammika Dharmapala (Berkeley)

Avihay Dorfman (TAU)

Mark Gergen (Berkeley)

David Grewal (Berkeley)

Nien-hê Hsieh (Harvard)

Prasad Krishnamurthy (Berkeley)

Chris Kutz (Berkeley)

Daniel Markovits (Yale)

Colin Mayer (Oxford)

Manisha Padi (Berkeley)

Julie Rose (Dartmouth)

Veronica Aoki Santarosa (Berkeley)

Amy Sepinwall (Wharton)

Ayelet Shachar (Berkeley)

Johanna Stark (Max Planck Institute for Tax Law and Public Finance)

Rebecca Stone (UCLA)

Robert Taylor (UC Davis)

Mikhail Xifaras (SciencesPo)


(link to password-protected page)