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Abstract

Recent global recession has motivated this predominantly historical and exploratory research of thoughts and perceptions. A continuous planning of governmental correction of any market failure, such as various types of externalities and information asymmetry, has been strongly recommended by the pioneers of free enterprise systems. Capitalism—in which private ownership of means of production, physical capital, human capital, financial capital, brand-name capital, social capital, land, and mineral deposits are all protected by law without implementation of a series of certain evolving ethical standards and principles—may not continue to be the same efficient system as implied to be by the cost-benefit balancing forces of free markets. Two survey instruments on perceptions of ethics (with 110 participants) and religion (with 117 different participants), influenced by observations of various events of the recent years, were given to Business and Economics students at the PhD, Master’s, and undergraduate levels to assess the perceptions of some educated and/or being-educated people about the market economic system, ethics, and religion. Ethical foundations and values are of highest concern to participants of the conducted survey.