IDEAS home Printed from
   My bibliography  Save this paper

Conflitto sociale e incomparabilità dei beni (Social conflict and incomparability of goods)



According to mainstream economics, rational agents choose among alternatives that are supposed to be ranked and compared. This assumption is strongly criticized by sociologists and anthropologists; it may partly hold true only when the commercial transactions sphere establishes a uniform measure: money. But what happens when a community compares social goods supplied by different institutional spheres? The rigorous equalization of any rate of exchange is replaced by a system of conventional equivalences. This system is temporary, since it changes as collective beliefs evolve; it is conflictual, because the "rates of conversion" between social goods often express relations of power among the groups themselves; and finally it is unstable, because individuals tend to develop private "rates of conversion” that are different from the collective ones. This system, despite its fragility, is a crucial tool of reproduction of a complex society. This essay discusses and analyzes some aspects of the issue.

Suggested Citation

  • Nicolò Bellanca, 2008. "Conflitto sociale e incomparabilità dei beni (Social conflict and incomparability of goods)," Working Papers - Economics wp2008_02, Universita' degli Studi di Firenze, Dipartimento di Scienze per l'Economia e l'Impresa.
  • Handle: RePEc:frz:wpaper:wp2008_02

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL:
    Download Restriction: no

    More about this item


    Incomparability; Rational Choice; Money; Conflict; Participation;

    JEL classification:

    • D01 - Microeconomics - - General - - - Microeconomic Behavior: Underlying Principles
    • D63 - Microeconomics - - Welfare Economics - - - Equity, Justice, Inequality, and Other Normative Criteria and Measurement
    • P51 - Economic Systems - - Comparative Economic Systems - - - Comparative Analysis of Economic Systems
    • Z13 - Other Special Topics - - Cultural Economics - - - Economic Sociology; Economic Anthropology; Language; Social and Economic Stratification

    NEP fields

    This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:


    Access and download statistics


    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:frz:wpaper:wp2008_02. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Giorgio Ricchiuti). General contact details of provider: .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    We have no references for this item. You can help adding them by using this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.