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The Market: Social Constuction and Operation


  • Samuels Warren J.

    (Michigan State University)


Markets are not given, transcendent and commanding. Markets are socially constructed, a function of interaction among both institutions normally seen as within the market and institutions of social control. The conventional theories of the firm, by Gardiner C. Means, Ronald Coase and others, do not go far enough when they are used as theories of the market. Markets are a function of the activities of firms to establish market structures of their own liking and of the impact of a wide variety of government regulatory activities. Even law not deemed regulatory has impact on the existence, domain, character and structure of markets; moreover law is profoundly influenced by nominally private-sector activities brought to bear on and through government in the legal-economic nexus.Les marchés ne sont pas donnés, transcendents, ni dominants. Ils sont socialement construits. Ils sont le résultat dinteractions à la fois entre les institutions généralement perçues comme étant à lintérieur du marché et les institutions de réglementation. Les théories conventionnelles de lentreprise de Gardner C. Means, Ronald Coase, et des autres, ne sont pas assez abouties pour être utilisées en tant que théories du marché. Les marchés sont fonction des activités des entreprises qui établissent des structures de marché selon leurs propres préférences mais ils sont aussi fonction dune grande variété dactivités de réglementation. Même le droit qui nest pas réglementaire a une influence sur lexistence, le domaine, la nature, et la structure des marchés; de plus le droit dépend des activités du secteur privé qui exercent une influence sur, et à travers le gouvernement dans la sphère économico-juridique.

Suggested Citation

  • Samuels Warren J., 2004. "The Market: Social Constuction and Operation," Journal des Economistes et des Etudes Humaines, De Gruyter, vol. 14(2), pages 1-20, December.
  • Handle: RePEc:bpj:jeehcn:v:14:y:2004:i:2:n:1

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Murray N. Rothbard, 1995. "Economic Thought Before Adam Smith," Books, Edward Elgar Publishing, number 377.
    2. Robert L. Heilbroner, 1982. "The Socialization of the Individual in Adam Smith," History of Political Economy, Duke University Press, vol. 14(3), pages 427-439, Fall.
    3. Warren J. Samuels & Steven G. Medema & A. A. Schmid, 1997. "The Economy as a Process of Valuation," Books, Edward Elgar Publishing, number 1088.
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