What exactly is “a market”?
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One thing we often do in an economics course is study the behavior of “markets”. In this essay, please tell me: (1) What exactly is “a market”? In your own life, about how much of your time do think you spend participating in “a market” each week? Then, please tell me: (2) How did “markets” come to exist? What is the origin of markets when we look back in human history? Many of us now believe that essential pieces of the mosaic required for a market to function are (a) some set of rules to govern human behavior and (b) some type authority that ensures that these rules are followed by the participating in “the market”. (3) Can you identify any markets that exist today, or that existed in the past, that function(ed) without either a “state” or some other type of governing authority acting in a way to ensure that “the rules” of the market were/are followed? If you can identify such a thing, please describe it and the set of conditions in place that allows (or allowed) it to happen. (4) If you cannot identify a market that exists without some type of governing authority, why do you think this is the case? Please cite specific passages in Graeber’s book Debt to support your arguments.