Postponed Lecture: Dr. Virgil Storr on Do Markets Corrupt Our Morals?

First Published: 2020-02-02

THE NASSAU INSTITUTE & TEMPLETON RELIGION TRUST In Collaboration with the Banking Economics & Finance Department & The Economics Society of The University of The Bahamas


Dr. Virgil Storr


Do Markets Corrupt Our Morals?

Where: Franklyn R. Wilson Centre, RBC Conference Room.

When: Thursday, March 19, 2020, 6:30pm – Postponed to late Spring or Fall 2020.


The most damning criticism of markets is that they are morally corrupting. As we increasingly engage in market activity, the more likely we are to become selfish, corrupt, rapacious and debased. Even Adam Smith, who famously celebrated markets, believed that there were moral costs associated with life in market societies.

This lecture explores whether or not engaging in market activities is morally corrupting. Storr demonstrates that people in market societies are wealthier, healthier, happier and better connected than those in societies where markets are more restricted. More provocatively, he explains that successful markets require and produce virtuous participants. Markets serve as moral spaces that both rely on and reward their participants for being virtuous. Rather than harming individuals morally, the market is an arena where individuals are encouraged to be their best moral selves.

This lecture invites us to reassess the claim that markets corrupt our morals.


Virgil Henry Storr is the Vice President of Academic and Student Programs at the Mercatus Center, an Associate Professor of Economics in the Department of Economics, George Mason University and the Don C. Lavoie Senior Fellow in the F.A. Hayek Program in Philosophy, Politics and Economics, Mercatus Center, George Mason University. He holds a Ph. D. in Economics from George Mason University (Fairfax, Va.) and did his undergraduate work at Beloit College (Beloit, Wis.). Storr is an alumnus of the College of the Bahamas/University of the Bahamas.

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