Conventions and Structures in Economic Organization

Conventions and Structures in Economic Organization

Markets, Networks and Hierarchies

New Horizons in Institutional and Evolutionary Economics series

Edited by Olivier Favereau and Emmanuel Lazega

This book contributes to the current rapprochement between economics and sociology. It examines the fact that individuals use rules and interdependencies to forward their own interests, while living in social environments where everyone does the same. The authors argue that to construct durable organizations and viable markets, they need to be able to handle both. However, thus far, economists and sociologists have not been able to reconcile the relationship between these two types of constraints on economic activity.

Conclusion: quality is a system proerty. Downstream

Harrison C. White

Subjects: economics and finance, economic psychology, history of economic thought, institutional economics, methodology of economics


Conclusion: quality is a system property. Downstream Harrison C. White In 1996 in Paris, goaded by Favereau and Lazega, I began working towards the book, Markets from Networks issued in 2002 from Princeton University Press. The manuscript that I presented in 1999 in Paris is now much revised under the impetus of the many discussions there and since. It extends my original model of ‘the market’ to systems of markets such as concern the ‘economics of convention’, with its explicit attention to culture. Intricacy and subtlety mark the reality and thus the argument. What has most fascinated me is the simultaneous closeness and distance between my market approach and that of the Convention School. EymardDuvernay sketches the latter (drawing on earlier pieces joint with Thévenot, Favereau and others) in his chapter. That, plus my book, provide the basis for my first section. I next turn to network and decision within organization, referring to Lazega and Mounier’s chapter. Only then do I bring to bear the brilliant further light shed by the chapter that was written last, that by Favereau and Biencourt with Eymard-Duvernay. My title is justified there. The editors asked me to situate my market book in earlier theory of mine. They also gave me licence to probe in this chapter some other commonalities among these very diverse analyses from two years ago in Paris that they have now shepherded into a book of great scope and diversity. I shall fit these brief comments within the general flow....

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