ASA 2009, call for papers: Politics of Markets

October 4, 2008


In the light of the events of the past few weeks, which show once again how irrevocably intertwined politics and financial markets are, it is only appropriate to hold a session about politics and markets.



ASA has a central submission system. The papers go there and not to the organizers then are routed from there. The deadline is usually mid-January (not published yet) and full papers are required at that point. Here’s a link to the site.                    Yuval


ASA meeting 2009

Call for papers, session in the Economic Sociology section

Politics of markets: controversies, tools and policies


Yuval Millo, London School of Economics            Daniel Beunza, Columbia Bus. School

In seeking to avoid the reduction of markets to political struggle, economic sociology has paid relatively little attention to the complex nature of markets-politics interface. Indeed, economic sociology has successfully established itself by advocating a less political focus on institutions, networks or cognitive structures. However, this has also meant that some effects of politics on the market have not been fully explored. This session is aimed as redressing this trend. It calls for papers that consider how politics interact and mediate, rather than substitute, the sphere of the market. We identify three promising themes.

  • The politics of valuation. Whereas economics regards markets as self-regulating barometers of value, economic sociology looks at markets as forums for controversies over value. Controversies are a fundamental element of politics, but they also are the lifeblood of financial valuation, as the presentation and resolve of contrasting opinions is the fundamental process that drives activity and liquidity. Some examples of this include consumer activism, socially responsible investment, activist hedge funds, and even value investment or the work of securities analysts. Here, economic sociology can offer a novel and sophisticated view that ties together social movements and Wall Street investors, or public choice and consumer choice. In this vein, we are calling for papers that focus on controversies and conflicts within markets, and examine the relationship between such events and market structure and behaviour.
  • Politics of market design. The institutional design of markets has pivotal influence on market outcomes, not least because underlying political motivations become embedded into the infrastructure of markets. Examples of this include securitization, government rescue of failing banks, the use of game theory in auction design, or the determination of property rights in science. Yet, in spite of the centrality of this dimension, the study of market design has been virtually neglected in economic sociology. We call for papers that analyse the effects that market and product design have on the shape and behaviour of markets.
  • The marketization of public policy. In the last two decades, we have witnessed that markets play an increasingly important role in enacting public policy. This includes, among others, the mortgage finance, the development of green energies or the health care industry. What are the effects that the increasing reliance on markets has on the political system? We are calling for papers that analyse governmental projects or long-term policies (local, national or trans-national), their connections with markets, and the political outcomes that emerge as a result.

5 Responses to “ASA 2009, call for papers: Politics of Markets”

  1. danielbeunza Says:

    Great to see this out already, Yuval. I´d like to join in Yuval´s call… this is the time to develop new thinking for a set of problems that are very much new.

    For instance, this past Thursday I had a very interesting conversation about the crisis with the fellows at Columbia´s Committee on Global Thought. One of the most trenchant questions I got is: what about regulation? And the problem here is that the academic discourse, as far as I know, ends in the literature on regulatory capture of the 1980s. The conclusion — deregulate.

    Clearly, the events from this past month show that the current deregulated system has not worked. But, what to regulate? How to avoid capture? What do we learn about regulation from the differences in performance between investment and deposit banks? These are new problems that demand new thinking…

  2. panik Says:

    Would it be possible to have some more practical details posted like deadlines for abstracts and/or full papers and so on?

  3. yuvalmillo Says:

    Panik: I added details about submission to the post.

  4. Mitch Abolafia Says:

    It does appear that we are about to enter a re-regulation period. I would call this a predictable part of a Polonyi cycle. See the last chapter of my book, Making Markets, for a discussion of the dynamics involved in cycles of opportunism and restraint. Mitch

  5. yuvalmillo Says:

    Mitch, funny, but I just had a chat today and we were talking how, with the crisis now a lot of the econ soc books should probably be re-written . Fligstein’s book and yours were mentioned. But, since you mentioned it, I now make an empirical check and will go back to the last chapter of Making Markets and write a post on it. Best regards and Shana Tova and Hatima Tova to you and the family.

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