Purpose: This paper aims to argue that markets need a foundation of morality to promote the long-run success of an economy. Design/methodology/approach: Three types of ethical theories are discussed and compared with what the sacred scriptures of Islam and Christianity say and with what economic theory says. Examples from China are provided. Findings: Markets need morality. Research limitations/implications: There are more religions in the world than just Islam and Christianity; however, space limitations force me to only consider those two religions. Furthermore, there are more countries in the world than just China. However, space limitations force me to only pull examples from China. Practical implications: Economists should recognize that markets need morality, and they should start teaching that to their students. Social implications: If markets are built on a foundation of ethics, then society prospers. In the absence of that foundation, societies falter. When a government, business and religious institutions see each other as complementary forces, then ethics can evolve. Originality/value: The author knows of no other studies that explain the three types of ethical theories, compares those theories to what the sacred scriptures of Islam and Christianity say and to what economic theory says, and then uses examples from China to illustrate the need for morality.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Economics and Econometrics