First CLE-Berlin Talk with Daniel Markovits

Bertram Lomfeld initiated at Free University Berlin in cooperation with Heike Schweitzer (Free University Berlin) and Gerhard Wagner (Humboldt University Berlin) a CRITICAL LAW & ECONOMICS LECTURE SERIES which aims to reflect law & economics scholarship within a broader social theory perspective. The first lecture will be:



26-May-2014  |  19°°  |  FU Berlin  |  Bibliothek FB Jura  |  R 203  |  Van’t-Hoff-Str. 8


Lawyers, economists, and even philosophers conventionally understand markets as technologies for distributing goods across persons in the service of efficient investment, production, and (ultimately) consumption. But markets also serve a second function, which is very different and equally substantial. Market orderings establish an important and free-standing site of social cohesion. Market solidarity — as market based social cohesion might be called — exerts a powerful centripetal force that sustains order against the centrifugal forces that constantly threaten to tear cosmopolitan societies apart. Market solidarity, moreover, is not merely second-best. Rather, commercial self-interest achieves what political virtue cannot. Market solidarity arises through two mechanisms: Price-commensuration, solves the epistemic problem associated with value difference; and contract-integration, solves the normative problem associated with the authority of the market. Markets establish shared rather than merely coordinated intentions; but the sharing stops at intentions and does not reach cooperative motives. Market solidarity, one might say, involves neither mere coordination nor full cooperation, but rather, intermediately, collaboration.

Daniel Markovits is Guido Calabresi Professor of Law at Yale Law School. After earning a B.A. in Mathematics, summa cum laude from Yale University, Markovits received a British Marshall Scholarship to study in England, where he was awarded an M.Sc. in Econometrics and Mathematical Economics from the L.S.E. and a B.Phil. and D.Phil. in Philosophy from the University of Oxford. Markovits then returned to Yale to study law and, after clerking for the Honorable Guido Calabresi, joined the faculty at Yale.