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Struggling for the moral market: Economic knowledge, diverse markets, and market borders


Berndt, Christian; Wirth, Manuel (2019). Struggling for the moral market: Economic knowledge, diverse markets, and market borders. Economic Geography, 95(3):288-309.

Abstract

Focusing on the recent emergence of behavioral and experimental economics and its implications for the design and implementation of social policies, we demonstrate that geographies of marketization are not confined to the narrow study of the models of neoclassical economics. We structure our argument around what we perceive as key dimensions of marketization and their variegated geographies: First, we argue for renewed attention to the naturalization of abstract market knowledge and its methodological separation from real markets in the wake of the behavioral and experimental turn. We then turn to really existing markets, conceptualizing them as articulations of a variety of economic and social rationalities struggling over an apparent “moral market.” Third, we focus on the role of the nonhuman in marketization processes and discuss the work of market devices in making these market arrangements possible. In the fourth and final section we turn to the “human side” of marketization. Our argument is that market struggles connect with the formation of “quasi-subjects” that oscillate between attempts to reestablish autonomy and their dissolution in the disciplining webs of behavioral and experimental market devices. Throughout the text we illustrate our arguments on the so-called social impact bonds as a concrete example for the types of policy intervention informed by economic behaviorism and experimentalism.

Abstract

Focusing on the recent emergence of behavioral and experimental economics and its implications for the design and implementation of social policies, we demonstrate that geographies of marketization are not confined to the narrow study of the models of neoclassical economics. We structure our argument around what we perceive as key dimensions of marketization and their variegated geographies: First, we argue for renewed attention to the naturalization of abstract market knowledge and its methodological separation from real markets in the wake of the behavioral and experimental turn. We then turn to really existing markets, conceptualizing them as articulations of a variety of economic and social rationalities struggling over an apparent “moral market.” Third, we focus on the role of the nonhuman in marketization processes and discuss the work of market devices in making these market arrangements possible. In the fourth and final section we turn to the “human side” of marketization. Our argument is that market struggles connect with the formation of “quasi-subjects” that oscillate between attempts to reestablish autonomy and their dissolution in the disciplining webs of behavioral and experimental market devices. Throughout the text we illustrate our arguments on the so-called social impact bonds as a concrete example for the types of policy intervention informed by economic behaviorism and experimentalism.

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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:07 Faculty of Science > Institute of Geography
Dewey Decimal Classification:910 Geography & travel
Scopus Subject Areas:Social Sciences & Humanities > Geography, Planning and Development
Social Sciences & Humanities > Economics and Econometrics
Uncontrolled Keywords:Geography, Planning and Development, Economics and Econometrics
Language:English
Date:27 May 2019
Deposited On:11 Jan 2019 12:14
Last Modified:15 Apr 2020 22:41
Publisher:Taylor & Francis
ISSN:1944-8287
OA Status:Green
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1080/00130095.2018.1521699

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