How Economic Agents are Constructed
By (author) Donald MacKenzie
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Material Markets by Donald MacKenzie
Book DescriptionFinancial 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.
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Book DetailsISBN: 9780199278152
(242mm x 163mm x 17mm)
Imprint: Oxford University Press
Publisher: Oxford University Press
Publish Date: 11-Dec-2008
Country of Publication: United Kingdom
Books By Author Donald MacKenzie
Engine, Not a Camera, Paperback (August 2008)
A pioneering work in the social studies of finance describes how the emergence of modern finance theory has affected financial markets in fundamental ways--as an engine that shapes them rather than a camera that reproduces their every detail.
Do Economists Make Markets?, Paperback (July 2008)
Dedicated to the controversial question of whether economics is performative - of whether, in some cases, economics actually produces the phenomena it analyzes, this book features case studies that intend to offer substance to the notion of the performativity of economics in an accessible, nontechnical way.
Mechanizing Proof, Paperback (March 2004)
A sociological approach to the history of proof, as applied to and performed by computer systems.
Social Shaping of Technology, Paperback (June 1999)» View all books by Donald MacKenzie
Demonstrates that technology is affected at a fundamental level by the social context in which it develops. This book features arguments about the relation of technology to society. It examines different types of technology and argues that social scientists have tended to ignore the question of what shapes technology?
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Author Biography - Donald MacKenzie
Donald MacKenzie is Professor of Sociology (Personal Chair) at the University of Edinburgh. He was winner of the 2005 John Desmond Bernal Prize, awarded jointly by the Society for Social Studies of Science and the Institute for Scientific Information, for career contributions to the field of science studies. His books include Inventing Accuracy (MIT Press, 1990), Knowing Machines (MIT Press, 1996), Mechanizing Proof (MIT Press, 2001), and An Engine, Not a Camera: How Financial Models Shape Markets (MIT Press, 2006).
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