Money and Households in a Capitalist Economy

Money and Households in a Capitalist Economy

A Gendered Post Keynesian–Institutional Analysis

Zdravka Todorova

Post Keynesian analyses of monetary production have not given much attention to households as institutions, while a good deal of the literature in feminist economics discusses households in a strictly microeconomic context, with little consideration of monetary phenomena. This book, a unique study of the capitalist economy, utilizes a distinctive combination of Post Keynesian, institutional, and gender analysis to examine household economics in capitalist society in order to flesh out the gaps in each.

Chapter 5: Institutional Change, Households, and the State

Zdravka Todorova

Subjects: economics and finance, post-keynesian economics

Extract

INTRODUCTION This chapter discusses the types of institutional change that can take place due to the interaction between the instrumental and ceremonial aspects of the household institution in relation to other institutions within the pecuniary culture. To this end I adopt and enhance the formulation institutional change offered by Paul Bush (1988). TOOLS, VALUE STRUCTURE, AND INSTITUTIONAL CHANGE Bush formulates his discussion of institutional change in terms of ‘the interface of the knowledge fund and the institutional structure’ (1988, 140). Here, I find it more appropriate to speak about the interface between ‘tools’ and ‘value structure’. Tools include the existing knowledge, and value structure refers to the methods of valuation: instrumental and pecuniary. The structure is determined by the variation of combinations of these methods of valuation. It is a broader view of technology that should be considered here. The term ‘technology’ refers not just to tools, including skills, but also to the value structure – the predominant combination of valuation methods. Tools are necessary for problem solving, and are the result of the predominance of instrumental methods of valuation over ceremonial methods. Only the tools that meet ‘ceremonial adequacy’ (ibid., 141) will be permissible for usage. In other words, even though some tools may be available to the community, they might not be ceremonially adequate because of the present state of the value structure. Tools are either ‘encapsulated’ by ceremonial aspects of institutions that are warranted by predatory instincts, or are ‘embodied’ in the 119 120 Money and households in...

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