There has been increasing interest and debate in recent years on the instituted nature of economic processes in general and the related ideas of the market and the competitive process in particular. This debate lies at the interface between two largely independent disciplines, economics and sociology, and reflects an attempt to bring the two fields of discourse more closely together. This book explores this interface in a number of ways, looking at the competitive process and market relations from a number of different perspectives. It considers the social role of economic institutions in society and examines the various meanings embedded in the word 'markets', as well as developing arguments on the nature of competition as an instituted economic process. The close of the twentieth century saw a virtual canonisation of markets as the best, indeed the only really effective, way to govern an economic system. The market organisation being canonised was simple and pure, along the lines of the standard textbook model in economics. The book discusses the concepts of polysemy , idealism, cognition, materiality and cultural economy. Michael Best provides an account of regional economic adaptation to changed market circumstances. This is the story of the dynamics of capitalism focused on the resurgence of the Route 128 region around Boston following its decline in the mid-1980s in the face of competition from Silicon Valley. The book also addresses the question of how this resurgence was achieved.
On the complexities and limits
of market organisation
Richard R. Nelson
The close of the twentieth century saw a virtual canonisation of markets as
the best, indeed the only really effective, way to govern an economic system.
The market organisation being canonised was simple and pure, along the
lines of the standardtextbookmodel in economics. For-profit firms are
the vehicle of production and provision. Given what suppliers offer, free
choice on the part of customers, who decide on the basis of their own knowledge and preferences where to spend
investment projects. Moreover, there also existed a close operational relationship and interlinked ownership between banks and ﬁrms. Hailed as
the “Asian developmental model,” this strategy allowed ﬁrms to rely heavily
on bank credit. Not surprisingly, by international standards, ﬁrms in the
crisis-affected countries were highly leveraged. Indeed, the pervasive role of
government in the selective promotion of industries and in the coordination
of investment, including state control over the allocation of credit and capital account transactions, spawned a government