I attached 3 articles and the structure Essay Example

  • Category:
  • Document type:
  • Level:
  • Page:
  • Words:


Price Gouging

Price Gouging

Snyder’s article main points:

  1. A disaster is likely to increase the market prices of goods in case its aftermath includes reduction of supply or in increase in demand.

  2. Price gouging is considered immoral on the basis that certain people gain from the misfortune of others (Snyder 2009).

  3. In certain cases, it can have positive benefits to communities in the aftermath of a disaster. People get the goods that they need most.

  4. Anti-gouging laws might affect the normal prices of market recovery after a disaster. However, they aid in facilitating equitable distribution of goods (Snyder 2009).

  5. Price increases are usually legal in situations where disasters lead to increased costs of conducting business.

  6. Price increases are justified because in many cases, disasters cause a reduction in the supply of certain goods, inflate demand, and shift the equilibrium in how market forces operate.

  7. Price gouging promote the conservation of scarce goods through limited purchase and wise use, acts as an incentive that encourages vendors to supply of essential goods, they compensate vendors for the risk endured and efforts taken in supplying these goods (Snyder 2009). In addition, they bring more supplies into the market to provide essential goods and services.

  8. The practice is unethical because it cuts poor members of society from access to certain goods and services. It promotes disrespect for individuals who cannot afford to pay for the goods.

Zwolinski’s article main points:

  1. Price gouging is an unethical practice because it takes advantage of the economically vulnerable members in society.

  2. Price gouging should be rejected in its many forms that include increasing prices to address increased costs of conducting business new entrepreneurs who capitalize on disasters to introduce new products to the market (Zwolinski 2009).

  3. Non-worseness claim (NWC): vendors can either provide scarce goods after disasters at inflated prices or ignore the needs of the people. Therefore, it is better t but goods at inflated prices that to be ignored altogether.

  4. Distributive justice: equitable access to goods is undermined by the emergency of a disaster. The emergency disrupts the market equilibrium by either cutting supply or increasing demand (Zwolinski 2009). Without supply/demand equilibrium, equitable access is impossible.

  5. Increased prices in the aftermath of disasters play two main roles. First, they point to the needed for increased supply of certain gods and second, they give vendors the motivation to supply the needed goods and services (Zwolinski 2009).

  6. Price gouging is morally permissible only if it benefits people suffering the effects of a disaster.

  7. Laws to prevent price gouging are ineffective because they do not facilitate fair distribution of scarce products and they make it harder for markets to stabilize after recovery from unfavourable events (Zwolinski 2009).

Definition of major terms

  1. Non-worseness claim (NWC): in a situation where a vendor has a right not to sell goods to customers, he or she can choose to transact with them even though the terms of their engagement are deemed unfair by other people.

  2. Distributive justice: this is a concept that involves equal distribution of goods in such a manner that everyone, regardless of their economic or social status, gets equal access to them to satisfy their needs.

  3. Price gouging: the act of increasing or inflating prices in the aftermath of a disaster or vent that breaks the equilibrium between the supply and demand of goods and services.

Opposing positions taken by authors

  1. Zwolinski believes in the non-worseness claim by stating that it is better for customers to buy goods at inflated prices rather than be ignored totally by vendors. Snyder opposes this argument by claiming that many vendors increase prices not to favour people but to take advantage of their desperation to make more profits.

  2. Zwolinski disagrees with Snyder’s argument that price gouging undermines equitable access to gods by everyone.

  3. The authors disagree on how to address the problem. Snyder proposes creating laws that impose caps on the price of goods and the amount that individual customers can buy at any one time. Zwolinski rejects this strategy and discredits its moral significance. It would not also be applicable to non-divisible goods.

  4. Snyder and Zwolinski also disagree on the need for legislation to curb price gouging. Snyder suggests that legislation is necessary while Zwolinski maintains that it is unnecessary. According to Zwolinski, all laws that prevent price gouging should be repealed because they prohibit vendor and customers from enjoying some of the seeming morally acceptable benefits of price gouging.

Should price gouging be regulated?

Price gouging should not be regulated because it benefits both consumers and vendors. Increased prices motivate entrepreneurs to take risks and supply certain scarce goods. Customers benefit by getting the goods they require in time of their greatest need. It inconveniences some people. However, its benefits outweigh its disadvantages.


Snyder, J 2009, ‘What’s the Matter with Price Gouging’, Business Ethics Quarterly, vol. 19, no. 2, pp. 275-293.

Zwolinski, M 2009, ‘Dialogue on Price Gouging: Price Gouging, Non-Worseness, and Distributive Justice’, Business Ethics Quarterly, vol. 19, no. 2, pp. 295-303.