Markets for People

Markets for People

Structures & Strategies supporting Resilience

Prof. Dr. Andreas Rathgeber
Dr. Benedikt Gleich
Dr. Herbert Mayer 

University of Augsburg, Germany, Institute for Materials Resource Management (MRM)

Markets, in particular financial & commodity markets, affect almost all aspects of our society. In fact, they often show a remarkable resilience in the face of forces detrimental to other societal structures. Does this relationship work in reverse? I.e.: can societal structures also beneficially influence markets? The goal of our research is to better understand the working principles of markets, in order to provide decision makers with effective answers on how markets could lead social change in a positive direction, rather than constrict freedom. Markets & speculation are, in and of themselves, neither good nor bad, but rather products of society. As such, it should be possible to find harmony between societal goals and markets, rather than for communities to be purely controlled by markets. Due to the increasing scarcity of critical resources, the concept of well-steered markets can make a difference: illustrating not only an optimal pattern for change in globalized & networked communities, but also importantly contributing to the resilience inherent in properly functioning markets.

Apropos questions include: What are the challenges posed by markets to society, what goals should be set, and how do markets and society interact? To this end, we aim to investigate relevant structures, mechanisms, and interactions, and quantify & research related connections & relationships. Results of our research can not only be used by political & economic leaders, but also adapted for workable use in practice. To conclude, we intend to create a Statement of Requirements for markets, thereby demonstrating social obligations, the corresponding degree of fulfillment of such duties, and also providing suggestions for improving market management – with an eye to the welfare of the global community. Our overarching goal is an unified, qualitative, and quantitative framework for the evaluation of markets and their societal roles.