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Marketing A Vintage Carpet In A Free Bazaar And Other Stories On/Off Value

  • Irene Sotiropoulou


    (Dept. of Economics - University of Crete)

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    This paper stems from cases I have witnessed and studied during my PhD research on exchange networks, parallel currencies and free bazaars in Greece. To my great disappointment and amazement, I realised that the mainstream theories of value (subjective and objective/labour theories of value) were not appropriate at all in explaining what was taking place concerning perceptions of value within those initiatives. Given that I am not really sure about the theoretical analysis of those cases, I use this paper to describe them in detail, present my own viewing on each case and leave the conclusions open, or just make an open invitation for a related discussion in the future. The first case concerns my visit in a free bazaar in the Greater Athens area in December 2011, where I experimented with� a vintage handmade carpet which however, needed more than 3 hours of intentional promotion to be �disposed� despite the fact that it was free. The second case concerns a discussion which took place in a major Greek city in September 2010 among people who tried to establish an exchange network and how the discussion coped with the value of services and goods. The third case is my experience concerning valuing and pricing within the Chania Exchange Network which I am a member of. My concern with value is not only to define/describe it as much as possible in relation to actual, real cases, but also to see whether our valuings have any value at all and for whom: what aims and ideas our perceptions of value are based on and whether we just accept as (more or less) valuable what we have learned that it is so, even if this acceptance might lead to reproducing economic situations that in other contexts we try to avoid and discard.

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    Paper provided by University of Crete, Department of Economics in its series Working Papers with number 1206.

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    Length: 22 pages
    Date of creation: 00 May 2012
    Date of revision:
    Publication status: Forthcoming in 3rd International Conference in Political Economy �Political Economy and the outlook of capitalism� July 5-8th, 2012- Paris, France
    Handle: RePEc:crt:wpaper:1206
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    1. Karl H. Niebyl, 1940. "The Need for a Concept of Value in Economic Theory," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 54(2), pages 201-216.
    2. Ioannis A. Kaskarelis, 2009. "The moneyless free time," International Journal of Social Economics, Emerald Group Publishing, vol. 36(12), pages 1153-1166, October.
    3. Timberlake, Richard H., 1981. "The Significance of Unaccounted Currencies," The Journal of Economic History, Cambridge University Press, vol. 41(04), pages 853-866, December.
    4. Colin C. Williams & Jan Windebank, 2003. "The slow advance and uneven penetration of commodification," International Journal of Urban and Regional Research, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 27(2), pages 250-264, 06.
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