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The Market

Matthew Watson

Hardback
£60.00 | $90.00
ISBN 9781911116608
Paperback
£18.99 | $27.00
ISBN 9781911116615
e-book
£18.99 | $27.00
ISBN 9781911116622
208 pages | 234 x 156mm | November 2017
 

Description

The market is one of the most readily identifiable manifestations of the modern economy: the locus of supply and demand, the object of countless production and consumption decisions. As an abstract idea, it has spilled over from economic theory to inform the way we speak about our relationship to the economic system as a whole. We often instinctively think in terms of markets, whether that is the goods market through which we make the purchases that construct our identities, the labour market through which we interact with the world of work, or the financial market through which we plan late-life living. In the popular imagination the market has become the most qualified regulator of price, cost and consequently choice.

However, what does it really mean to allow ourselves to submit to market forces? And does economic theory really provide insights into the market institutions that shape everyday life, or can it only talk about an abstract idea of the market that has no real-life counterpart? Matthew Watson tackles these questions by showing what the economics textbooks leave unsaid when discussing what students need to know about markets. He reviews key moments in the history of economic thought through which economists’ appeal to the concept of the market became increasingly divorced from the historical, social and political realities in which actual market institutions are necessarily embedded.

An important contribution to the deeper appreciation of the dominant economic language of our time, this is a book aimed at students across the social sciences and humanities. It will challenge readers’ assumptions about why they think what they think about markets, and it will also challenge the way they act in a variety of market places.


Author Information

Matthew Watson is Professor of Political Economy in the Department of Politics and International Studies at the University of Warwick, UK. Since October 2013 he has been an ESRC Professorial Fellow engaged on the project, 'Rethinking the Market'. He has a long and distinguished publishing record, including more than thirty peer-reviewed journal articles on various issues in the history of economic thought, economic historiography and political economy. His books include Foundations of International Political Economy (2005), The Political Economy of International Capital Mobility (2007) and Uneconomic Economics and the Crisis of the Model World (2014).

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