Economic growth: inclusive, green, no-cost.

THE PROBLEM: Modern Markets for Some

It’s worth analyzing the quality of diverse marketplaces. Doing so explains a lot about today’s economy.




Marking markets

Imagine you need to sell something: an old toy, a few hours of your time, meals in your restaurant, spare cash you want to lend; anything. The marketplace used to find buyers is crucial. What percentage of potential buyers use it? How much control does it give you? Whose interests does it serve? What charges are imposed? How much data does it share?

Two decades ago, answers would have been similar across exchanges for all sorts of goods and services. Globally, that’s changed with little attention. But markets matter. They allocate resources, determine costs, emit signals, and create winners. We won’t understand inequality, climate impacts, and popular rage without dissecting today’s markets.

Some pointers for our investigation in this section:

  • A market’s impact on sellers is vital: Cool new ways to buy stuff are useful. But they won’t pay the bills. Economic impact comes from what a market does for its sellers.
  • Slick screens can mislead: A new market can feel empowering. But even in 2018, 36% of Americans  were gig workers, with 50% forecast in 2021. Analysis of labor market structures is key.


In this section:

Contrast: A tale of two sales: Market inequality made tangible.

How did this happen?: Why did marketplace technologies evolve this way?

Consequences of Market Inequality: Financialization, and a race to floor on wages.