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731
MARKET

also contributed to the law magazines, articles on Law and Fact, German Jurists and Roman Law, Legal Fictions, &c., several of which are embodied in the later editions of the Elements. He was made D.C.L. of Oxford in 1879, and K.C.I.E. in 1889.


MARKET (Lat. mercatus, trade or place of trade). This term is used in two well-defined senses. (1) It means a definite place where (a) traders who are retail sellers of a specific class of commodity or commodities are in the habit of awaiting buyers every day in shops or stalls; or whither (b) they are in the habit of proceeding on specified days at more or less frequent regular intervals. Covent Garden market for fruit and flowers, and Leadenhall market for meat and poultry, are good examples in London of the kind of institution included in class (a). They are a very ancient economic phenomenon, dating from the earliest period of' the development of organized communities of human beings, and in general characteristics have changed little since they began to exist. Markets of the type of class (b) are also of very ancient origin (see FAIRS), but inasmuch as they are constituted essentially by the presence of persons, many of whom assemble from various places outside the place of meeting, they were capable of a little more development than those belonging to class (a), owing to increased facilities for locomotion. The nature of an ancient market of class (a), whither a citizen, say of Athens, or his chief slave, proceeded daily to make household purchases, differs little from the group of shops visited by the wives of the less wealthy citizens of modern states. In many places abroad, and not a few in England, actual markets still exist. It may be said that the huge collections of shops, such as the various cooperative stores, are only a revival of 'the old “ market-place, ” with its shops or booths gathered round a central area, adapted to the needs of modern big cities. (2) The term “ market ” has come to be used in another and more general sense in modern times. According to Jevons, a market is “ any body of persons who are in intimate business relations, and carry on extensive transactions in any commodity.” He adds that “ these markets may or may not be localized, ” and he instances the money market as a case in which the term “market ” denotes no special locality. As a rule, however, most of the business of a market is transacted at some particular place, such as the London Stock Exchange, the Baltic, the Bourse of Paris, the Chicago “ Wheat-pit.” Even in the case of the London money market, merchants still meet twice a week at the Royal Exchange to deal in foreign bills, although a considerable part of the dealings in these securities is arranged daily at offices and counting-houses by personal visits or by telegraphic or telephonic communication. The markets in any important article are all closely interconnected. The submarine cable has long ago made Chicago as important an influence on the London corn market as Liverpool, or rather both London and Liverpool affect and are simultaneously affected by Chicago and other foreign markets. In like manner the Liverpool cotton market is influenced by the markets in New Orleans and other American cities separated from it widely in space. In a minor degree the dealers in all places where a cotton market exists affect the bigger markets to some extent. What is true of the cotton market is also true to some extent of all markets, though few markets are so highly organized or show such large transactions as that for cotton. Among other markets of the first class may be mentioned those for pig-iron, wheat, copper, coffee, and sugarii There are many articles the markets for which are of considerable dimensions at times, but are of an intermittent character, such as the London Wool Sales, which take place now in five “ series ” during the year. Formerly the number of “series” was four. (For “ market overt ” see SALE or Goons and STOLEN Goons.) Characteristics of M arkets.-T he conditions required in order that the operations of a trading body may display the fully developed features of a modern market, whether for commodities or securities, are:-

(r) A large number of parties dealing.

(2) A large amount of the commodities or securities to be dealt with.

(3) An organization by which all persons interested in the commodity or security can rapidly communicate with one another.

(4) Existence and frequent publication of statistical and other information as to the present and probable future supply of the commodity or security.

The movements which take place in prices in any market, whether fully organized or not, depend largely on changes of opinion among buyers and sellers. The changes M t of opinion may be caused by erroneous as well o, '2:, ;';;f" as by correct information. They may also be the result of wrong inferences drawn from correct information. In markets for commodities of the first importance, such as wheat, cotton, iron, and other articles which are dealt in daily, the state of opinion may vary much during a few hours. The broad characteristics of markets of this class are similar. There is a tendency in all of them to show phenomena of annual periodicity, due partly to the seasons, the activity of certain months being in normal years greater in the case of any given market than that of other months. This tendency was always liable to be interfered with by the special forces at work in particular years; and the great increase in the facilities of communication between dealers by telegraph, and of transportation of commodities between widely distant points, which was one of the marked features of the development of the economic organism in all actively commercial countries during the last thirty years of the rgth century, has still further interfered with it. Nevertheless, a tendency to annual periodicity is still perceptible, especially in markets for produce of the soil, the supply of which largely depends on the meteorological conditions of the areas where they are grown on a scale sufficient to furnish an appreciable proportion of the total produce. Periodicity of another kind known as “cyclic, ” and due to a different set of causes, is believed to exist by many persons competent to form a judgment; but although the Cycles evidence for this view is very strong, the theory ° expounding it is not yet in a sufficiently advanced state to admit of its being regarded as established. Phenomena of M arkets.-Bagehot said of the money market that it is “ often very dull and sometimes extremely excited.” This classical description of the market for “ money ” applies to a large extent to all markets.

Every market is at every moment tending to an equilibrium between the quantity of commodities offered and that of commodities desired; supposing equilibrium to have T d t been attained in a given market, and that for some Exuffrjfmf appreciable period it is not disturbed, the price for the commodity dealt in, in the market, will remain practically unchanged during that period. Not that there will be no transactions going on, but that the amounts offered daily will be approximately equal to the amounts demanded daily. We have b1'iefly described the statical condition of a market; we must now briefly examine its dynamics. Disturbance may take place through a change in- 2;i;";';;f'°° (1) Supply, or opinion as to future probable b, -1, ,:, supply.

(2) Demand, or opinion as to future probable demand. (3) In both simultaneously, but such a change that demand is increased or decreased more than the supply, or vice versa. A moderate disturbance caused by one of the above changes, or a combination of them, will produce an immediate effect on the price of the commodity, which again will tend to react on both the supply and the demand by altering the opinions of sellers and buyers. If no further change tending to disturb the market takes place, the market will gradually settle down again to a state of equilibrium. But if the disturbance has been considerable, a relatively long time may elapse before the market becomes quiet; and very likely the level of price at which the new equilibrium is established will be very different from that ruling before the disturbance set in. Further scientific