Market Exchanges, Negative Externalities and Sustainability Academic Article uri icon


  • Lusch (2017), in an insightful article published posthumously, enumerated and elaborated on four macro observations concerning Homo sapiens and exchange. He noted that Homo sapiens massively (1) engage in exchanges with each other, (2) create tools to facilitate exchanges, (3) engage in exchanges with the vast majority of costs being unseen, and (4) create institutions to efficiently coordinate exchanges and interactions among the parties to the exchanges. Lusch also proposed a number meta-questions pertaining to the above macro views on Homo sapiens and exchange for future research. This article focuses on the following questions highlighted by Lusch in reference to the unseen costs of market exchanges from an economic, environmental and social sustainability perspective: (1) Do any of the theories that are currently in vogue shed light into unseen costs of market exchanges, or is there a need for new theories? (2) Can some or most unseen costs of market exchanges be quantified? (3) How important is it for individuals, organizations and governments to consider the unseen costs of market exchanges? In reference to the last question, the article proposes manifestos for Citizen Consumer Environmental Oath, Company Manager Environmental Oath, and Country Leader Environmental Oath, highlights the need to develop guiding consensus principles on Government Sustainability Responsibility, Corporate Sustainability Responsibility and Consumer Sustainability Responsibility, and proposes a principle in respect of each.

published proceedings


author list (cited authors)

  • Varadarajan, R.

citation count

  • 8

complete list of authors

  • Varadarajan, Rajan

publication date

  • September 2020