Understanding the culture of markets

I'm reviewing the book by Virgil Storr with the above title And so, as usual, I'll be blogging some remarks upon it as I go along.

The first thing I wish to note is that Storr has set himself an interesting challenge. On the one hand, he wants to take culture into account in a more robust fashion than current economics tends to do. He must do more than simply treat culture as another variable in a consumption or production function, because if he does not the reaction will be "Well, yes, we already do that."

On the other hand, by doing more with culture, he risks leaving the field of economics altogether and beginning to write what Eric Voeglin would call "philosophical anthropology." In fact, as related in the introduction, this is exactly what Israel Kirzner wrote to Storr about his work: Very good and interesting work, but it's just not economics.

As I am only in chapter 1 at present I don't yet know if Storr succeeds in steering his ship between this Scylla and that Charybdis. I will report back as I read more.


  1. I thought Thorstein Veblen already wrote that book. It was called The Theory of Business Enterprise.


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