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The Empire of Value: A New Foundation for Economics (English Edition) [Kindle Edition]

André Orléan , M. B. DeBevoise

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With the advent of the 2007--2008 financial crisis, the economics profession itself entered into a crisis of legitimacy from which it has yet to emerge. Despite the obviousness of their failures, however, economists continue to rely on the same methods and to proceed from the same underlying assumptions. André Orlé an challenges the neoclassical paradigm in this book, with a new way of thinking about perhaps its most fundamental concept, economic value. Orlé an argues that value is not bound up with labor, or utility, or any other property that preexists market exchange. Economic value, he contends, is a social force whose vast sphere of influence, amounting to a kind of empire, extends to every aspect of economic life. Markets are based on the identification of value with money, and exchange value can only be regarded as a social institution. Financial markets, for example, instead of defining an extrinsic, objective value for securities, act as a mechanism for arriving at a reference price that will be accepted by all investors. What economists must therefore study, Orlé an urges, is the hold that value has over individuals and how it shapes their perceptions and behavior. Awarded the prestigious Prix Paul Ricoeur on its original publication in France in 2011, <I>The Empire of Value</I> has been substantially revised and enlarged for this edition, with an entirely new section discussing the financial crisis of 2007--2008.

Über den Autor und weitere Mitwirkende

Andre Orlean is Senior Researcher in the CNRS Center for Economics at the Ecole Normale Superieure, Paris, and Director of Studies at the Ecole des Hautes Etudes en Sciences Sociales.


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Die hilfreichsten Kundenrezensionen auf (beta) 5.0 von 5 Sternen  1 Rezension
5.0 von 5 Sternen Finally someone with an alternative! 28. März 2015
Von Emery Roe - Veröffentlicht auf
Format:Gebundene Ausgabe|Verifizierter Kauf
This is not just a book about the recent financial crisis: It's about rethinking the foundations from the ground up of what the Nobel committee keeps calling "the economic sciences." By recasting the nature of "economic value" and then patiently drawing out the implications of that recasting, Orléan moves beyond the conventional critiques of "neoclassical economics" to what needs to replace it by way of a better, broader explanation of economic behavior. He is refreshingly forthright in drawing the implications of this as well.

The readership of this book should be well beyond those in economics and policy analysis (my profession). To that end, Orléan takes a number of opportunities in the book to sum up his argument, such that by the time the reader gets to the last chapters on the financial crisis, he or she will see how his "mimetic approach" applies with chilling detail.

And what is his mimetic approach? To simplify, think of it this way. When you work under complex and uncertain conditions, economists are fond of telling you that you work on the basis of likely outcomes with respect to costs and benefits. Often, they tell you that the greater the uncertainty the more risk averse you become. The mimetic approach says: No; you might end up taking even more risks. It depends on whom you think knows what really is going on and then imitating him/her/them in your behavior.

From this notion that economic behavior is profoundly imitative (mimetic) under conditions of high uncertainty Orléan is able to look back to economists and sociologists who knew this all along and to consolidate those insights and extend them in original ways into a new foundation for economic analysis.
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