Elizabeth Brake, ‘Price gouging and the duty of easy rescue’

What, if anything, is wrong with price gouging? Its defenders argue that it increases supply of scarce necessities; critics argue that it is exploitative, inequitable and vicious. In this paper, I argue for its moral wrongness and legal prohibition, without relying on charges of exploitation, inequity or poor character. What is fundamentally wrong with price gouging is that it violates a duty of easy rescue. While legal enforcement of such duties is controversial, a special case can be made for their legal enforcement in this context. This account distinguishes, morally, price gouging by corporations from that of individual entrepreneurs.

Elizabeth Brake, Price gouging and the duty of easy rescue, Economics and Philosophy, https://doi.org/10.1017/S026626712000036X (2020).

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