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Value and Power in Economics

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Author Info

  • Kosta Josifidis

    ()
    (Department of European Economics and Business, Faculty of Economics, University of Novi Sad, Serbia)

  • Alpar LoÅ¡onc

    ()
    (Department of Social Sciences, Faculty of Technical Sciences, University of Novi Sad, Serbia)

Abstract

In this article we rethink the field of value in economic theory. First, we prove that the transhistorical and nominalist approaches show different weaknesses and can not account for the constitutive dimensions of value. Within this context, we demonstrate why value emerged in the first place and what epistemological dimensions it provided and enabled for economic reflexivity. In addition, we demonstrate that it is impossible to understand inherent value as an immanent property of goods in economic transactions and we critique the approach that renders value to the theory of price. Economic relations reflect value-related aspects without which the relations could not be understood. We then analyze the interrelations between power and value, proving the constitutive dimension of power in understanding value, demonstrated in selected examples. We treat power as a constellation in which economic agents act on other subjects to provoke certain activity. Power may occur only where the behaviour of subjects is not entirely determined. Finally, one additional selected example shows the range of this theory of power in terms of positional goods.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Savez ekonomista Vojvodine, Novi Sad, Serbia in its journal Panoeconomicus.

Volume (Year): 59 (2012)
Issue (Month): 4 (September)
Pages: 501-519

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Handle: RePEc:voj:journl:v:59:y:2012:i:4:p:501-519

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Web page: http://www.panoeconomicus.rs/

Related research

Keywords: Value; Valuation process; Power; Coercion; Positional goods;

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References

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  1. Eatwell, John L, 1975. "Mr. Sraffa's Standard Commodity and the Rate of Exploitation," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 89(4), pages 543-55, November.
  2. Shapiro, Carl & Stiglitz, Joseph E, 1984. "Equilibrium Unemployment as a Worker Discipline Device," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 74(3), pages 433-44, June.
  3. Stefan Kesting, 2010. "John Kenneth Galbraith: a radical economist?," International Journal of Social Economics, Emerald Group Publishing, vol. 37(3), pages 179-196, March.
  4. Bowles, Samuel & Gintis, Herbert, 1988. "Contested Exchange: Political Economy and Modern Economic Theory," Department of Economics, Working Paper Series qt82d2v3gb, Department of Economics, Institute for Business and Economic Research, UC Berkeley.
  5. Bowles, Samuel, 1974. "Economists as Servants of Power," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 64(2), pages 129-32, May.
  6. Chick, Victoria, 1998. "On Knowing One's Place: The Role of Formalism in Economics," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 108(451), pages 1859-69, November.
  7. Sen, Amartya K, 1978. "On the Labour Theory of Value: Some Methodological Issues," Cambridge Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 2(2), pages 175-90, June.
  8. Hirschman, Albert O, 1984. "Against Parsimony: Three Easy Ways of Complicating Some Categories of Economic Discourse," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 74(2), pages 89-96, May.
  9. Luigi Bosco, 2009. "Competition for power and altruism," Department of Economics University of Siena 562, Department of Economics, University of Siena.
  10. Strassmann, Diana L, 1994. "Feminist Thought and Economics: Or, What Do the Visigoths Know?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 84(2), pages 153-58, May.
  11. Giulio Palermo, 2007. "The ontology of economic power in capitalism: mainstream economics and Marx," Cambridge Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 31(4), pages 539-561, July.
  12. William Kingston, 2000. "A spectre is haunting the world - the spectre of global capitalism," Journal of Evolutionary Economics, Springer, vol. 10(1), pages 83-108.
  13. Euclid Tsakalotos, 2005. "Homo economicus and the reconstruction of political economy: six theses on the role of values in economics," Cambridge Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 29(6), pages 893-908, November.
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Cited by:
  1. Phillip Anthony O’Hara, 2013. "Policies and Institutions for Moderating Deep Recessions, Debt Crises and Financial Instabilities," Panoeconomicus, Savez ekonomista Vojvodine, Novi Sad, Serbia, vol. 60(1), pages 19-49, March.

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