The Elgar Companion to Social Economics, Second Edition
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The Elgar Companion to Social Economics, Second Edition

Edited by John B. Davis and Wilfred Dolfsma

Social economics is a dynamic and growing field that emphasizes the key roles social values play in the economy and economic life. This second edition of the Elgar Companion to Social Economics revises all chapters from the first edition, and adds important new chapters to reflect the expansion and development of social economics. The expert contributions explain a wide range of recent developments across different subject areas and topics in the field, mapping out possible directions of future social economic research. Social economics treats the economy and economics as embedded in a web of social and ethical relationships. It considers economics and ethics as essentially connected, and adds values such as justice, fairness, dignity, well-being, freedom, and equality to the standard emphasis on efficiency. This book will be a leading resource and guide to social economics for many years to come.
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Chapter 16: Markets

Geoffrey M. Hodgson

Abstract

Despite strong interest in market outcomes, economists have previously paid relatively little attention to the institutional structure of markets. But sociologists have often regarded the study of markets as the job of the economist. Consequently, both economists and sociologists have neglected the institutional character of markets. This chapter considers the historical evolution of markets and offers several alternative definitions, involving different degrees of historical specificity. It is argued that recent developments in economics and sociology point to a more nuanced view of markets, involving recognition of different types of market mechanisms and institutions. These developments include work in experimental economics and auction theory, and from socio-economics and economic sociology. A definition of markets is offered that is consistent with these developments.

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