As social agreements, markets are made up of bilateral, effective and potential foreign exchange transactions. Unlike theft or coercion, exchange is a peaceful way to get things you want. It is based on a mutual agreement between the trading partners. Given the alternative methods of personal enrichment mentioned, people can be expected to exchange views on when and where alternatives appear less attractive. This is generally the case when people meet in a normative, legal and institutional framework that defines and enforces property rights, whereas even in the absence of a common normative order, people may have prudent reasons to pursue their interests through exchanges and not through violent methods. As Max Weber (1978, p. 640) put it, even someone who prefers to take without pay, as he can, can choose to trade peacefully, where he is “confronted with a power that corresponds to his own,” or where he believes it is wise to do so in the interest of future exchanges that might otherwise be threatened. Indeed, the interest in exploiting the potential benefits of trade outside the hereditary community can be seen as the main driver of the development of a normative and legal order that goes beyond traditional community boundaries. Weber (1978, p. 637) put it this way: “The market is a relationship that transcends the boundaries of neighbourhood, kinship or tribe. Originally, it was actually the only peaceful relationship of its kind. As the materialistic perspective emphasizes concrete conditions, it tends to minimize the constitutive aspects of the law: the physical realities of organizational life should not depend on the presence or absence of legal descriptions – especially since economic actors can generally, by mutual agreement, indicate everything that is not yet defined by law. Nevertheless, in some of the writings of the transaction, at least embryonic, there are references to a materialistic approach to the constitutive law.
Pylons (1990), for example, suggests that the fundamental distinction between markets and hierarchies lies in the “standard” rules that govern these two types of economic activity. While a carefully crafted network of contract contracts can theoretically achieve the same results as a corporate charter, the prefabricated presentation of business creation probably relieves the cognitive burden of building such a relationship.