Christmas shopping scene
Corianna Baier

The holiday shopping season is the perfect playground for market forces. Voluntary exchange for mutual benefit (in other words, shopping) is the driving force behind the market, allowing us to buy things that we can’t produce ourselves. As you’re out enjoying the wintry weather this holiday season, be on the lookout for these free-market concepts:

Competition: Each product is competing for a spot on your shopping list, and each store is competing for your business. Stores have big sales and new products and advertisements appear to try to win your business. Searching for the best deals among stores is the epitome of a competitive marketplace.

Entrepreneurship: Ever see a new product and think, “Wow, that’s a good idea”? Well, someone before you had that exact thought, and they turned it into reality. Your shopping list is full of the results of entrepreneurial ventures, and your holiday purchases will help determine which ones are successful.

Options: An overwhelming number of options is perhaps both the best and worst part of holiday shopping, but we’re lucky that the free market gives us all these choices. Entrepreneurs have the freedom to pursue new ideas, stores have the opportunity to try and outdo competitors, and shoppers have the option to buy the products they want. And if you want to avoid the chaos of the season, you can choose to shop online!

Holiday shopping would be pretty lackluster without these (and other) free-market concepts. As I’ve said before, products find their way to your home through these concepts, so remember the free market when you’re checking things off your list this year.

About the Author

Corianna Baier
Corianna Baier

Corianna grew up in Michigan, where she earned her B.S. in Economics from Hillsdale College.