"Markets are a special set of rules of the game that define institutions to enable mass exchange of resources at a low cost." This is Martin Shubik's one-sentence definition of what a market is. Embedded in its few words are all the complexity and variation in how rules and institutions affect a market's functioning.
A document from 1787 Holland lists the names of girls whose income from government annuities was pooled and securitized, allowing investors to essentially bet that the girls would live a long time. Yale SOM Professors Will Goetzmann and Geert Rouwenhorst discuss how this novel financial device functioned and how it fits in the story of the development of more and more sophisticated securities.
Studies and anecdotal evidence suggest that 40 years after the civil rights era, African Americans still find themselves under scrutiny in retail stores and women pay higher prices at car dealerships. How can we ensure fair treatment in markets?
Professor Zhiwu Chen has been watching what’s happened as China adopts such financial instruments as mortgages and mutual funds. He was born in a rural village in China, and when he goes back, he says, he sees a country that’s being remade by markets.
Could the market do more to improve ethical performance than professionalization? Professor Jim Baron proposes that voluntary certification of various facets of corporate responsibility could create a market for good behavior.
For most of the twentieth century, accountants were organized into a self-governing profession, but that structure has been shaken over the last decade by a wave of scandals. Yale SOM professors Rick Antle and Shyam Sunder discuss the implications for management of accounting’s successes and failures as a profession.