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Foundations of Economic Evolution

A Treatise on the Natural Philosophy of Economics

  • New Horizons in Institutional and Evolutionary Economics series

Carsten Herrmann-Pillath

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Chapter 8: Markets

Carsten Herrmann-Pillath


This chapter is the capstone chapter of this book. I pull together all established concepts and ideas in order to explore what markets are. The precise definition of markets will be the outcome of this chapter, so I only start with a rough idea right now. This is that markets are special kinds of bimodal networks which realize transactions involving peculiar institutions and artefacts, in particular money. These networks are usually the object of the science of economics. In other words, I follow the ‘markets are networks’ view proposed by economic sociologists, in particular, but which is also advocated in management science and organization studies, and in certain areas of economics (for example Forsgren and Johanson 1992; Ring 1996; Rauch and Hamilton 2001; Granovetter 2002; Earl and Wakeley 2010; Goyal 2011), but add the bimodal perspective developed in Chapter Five by extending the semiotic approach to the analysis of markets; this dimension inheres the special role assigned to the artefact of money which entails viewing prices as material artefacts.

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