Material Markets: How Economic Agents are Constructed
Financial markets, processes, and instruments are often difficult to fathom; the credit crisis highlights both their importance and their fragility. Donald MacKenzie is one of the most perceptive analysts of the workings of the financial world. In this book, he argues that economic agents and markets need to be analyzed in their full materiality: their physicality, their corporeality, their technicality. Markets are populated not by disembodied, abstract agents, but by embodied human beings and technical systems. Concepts and systematic ways of thinking that simplify market processes and make them mentally tractable are essential to how markets function. In putting forward this material sociology of markets, the book synthesizes and contributes to the new field of social studies of finance: the application to financial markets not just of economics but of wider social-science disciplines, in particular science and technology studies. The topics covered include the development of financial derivatives exchanges (non-existent in 1970, but now trading products equivalent to $13,000 for every human being on earth); arbitrage; how corporate profit figures are constructed; the crucial new markets in carbon emissions; and a case-study of a hedge fund (based, unusually, on direct observation of its trading). The book will appeal to research students and academics across the social sciences, and the general reader will enjoy the book's explanations and analyses of some of the most important phenomena of today's turbulent markets.
What people are saying - Write a review
LibraryThing ReviewUser Review - carlosemferreira - LibraryThing
Here is a very interesting and relevant book, if you're into this kind of thing. It is well-researched and well-written, if not exactly bulging with empirical practice. That might be a somewhat unfair ... Read full review
Other editions - View all
Material Markets : How Economic Agents are Constructed: How Economic Agents ...
No preview available - 2008
Accounting Standards action actor-network theory agencement allowances amongst arbitrage arbitrageurs bank’s brokers calculation Callon capital carbon market cent Chapter Chicago Board Chicago Mercantile Exchange Citigroup classification cognitive consequential contract corporate costs countries crucial desk discussed earnings management economic actor economists electronic Ellerman emissions markets Emissions Trading Scheme entities Environmental European carbon European Union example Exchange financial markets financial reporting firm fund’s futures global government bonds hedge fund human implied volatility innovation interbank interest-rate International interviewee investors involved issue Kyoto Protocol LIBOR liquidity London MacKenzie 2006 material sociology measurement million Muniesa National Allocation Plans numbers option overall particular Partner phase physical political position profit public sociology reduce Richard Sandor risk role rules short selling simply social studies sociology of markets spread betting studies of finance studies of science sulphur dioxide telephone theory trading room WorldCom’s