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Value and Power in Economics

Listed author(s):
  • 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)

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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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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  1. Luigi Bosco, 2009. "Competition for power and altruism," Department of Economics University of Siena 562, Department of Economics, University of Siena.
  2. 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.
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  8. Frank H. Knight, 1925. "Economic Psychology and the Value Problem," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 39(3), pages 372-409.
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  10. Bowles, Samuel, 1974. "Economists as Servants of Power," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 64(2), pages 129-132, May.
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  13. Sen, Amartya K, 1978. "On the Labour Theory of Value: Some Methodological Issues," Cambridge Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 2(2), pages 175-190, June.
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  15. Mehrdad Vahabi, 2004. "The Political Economy of Destructive Power," Books, Edward Elgar Publishing, number 3481.
  16. Alpar Lošonc, 2011. "Capital as Power: A Study of Order and Creorder by Jonathan Nitzan and Shimshon Bichler," Panoeconomicus, Savez ekonomista Vojvodine, Novi Sad, Serbia, vol. 58(1), pages 135-141, March.
  17. Shapiro, Carl & Stiglitz, Joseph E, 1984. "Equilibrium Unemployment as a Worker Discipline Device," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 74(3), pages 433-444, June.
  18. 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.
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