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Editors: Stan Metcalfe and Alan Warde

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.

Mark Harvey

industrial divisions of labour. Thus, it is suggested that an excessive burden of explanatory expectation is placed on competitive processes within markets, as the dynamic of capitalist economies. Indeed, I argue here that many conceptions of competition suffer from this ‘tilt towards the market’ as the sole or primary dynamic force behind economic growth, to the exclusion or at least sidelining of complementary but at least equally significant dynamics within the realm of production, such as capital accumulation. After all, to put it at its weakest, competition may

in Market relations and the competitive process
Open Access (free)
Stan Metcalfe and Alan Warde

9 Conclusion Stan Metcalfe and Alan Warde In conclusion we draw together and evaluate a number of the themes raised in this volume and begin to sketch an agenda for future research about markets and the competitive process. Happily, this book resides within a now-flourishing broader stream of ideas at the interface between economics and sociology. Some of this new work signals the resurrection of economic sociology, while other aspects of it emanate from within the literature on innovation processes and, more generally, from evolutionary economics. There has

in Market relations and the competitive process
Open Access (free)
Stan Metcalfe and Alan Warde

1 Introduction Stan Metcalfe and Alan Warde 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. In many ways this is to return to a previous age when the study of institutional arrangements was at the centre of the study of

in Market relations and the competitive process
Constituting the cultural economy
Fran Tonkiss

, running ahead of the unwieldy analytic categories that lumber in their wake (see McRobbie, 2001). It is difficult to capture the range of products, the forms of knowledge and expertise, the business types and economic actors that constitute the cultural economy in different places and across different sub-sectors.2 My concern here is to develop a number of conceptual and critical points relating to the analysis of cultural economies that may have extended relevance to the study of contemporary market relations, competitive processes and economic organisation. The

in Market relations and the competitive process
Open Access (free)
Brian J. Loasby

developing procedures which enable us to make new combinations from the results of that division. Market institutions not only release cognitive resources for the development of both consumer and organisational capital and therefore of new consumer demands and new productive opportunities which create new contexts for competition: particular institutional structures will encourage these developments to take particular forms. A study of the competitive process requires a study of the institutions within which it is channelled, and also of attempts to modify those

in Market relations and the competitive process
Jonathan Michie

with BSkyB rather than with BSkyB’s competitors. In addition to representing a distortion of the competitive process to the detriment of other broadcasting companies, such a situation could also have posed an anti-competitive threat to other football clubs in the Premiership (and might in addition have had a deleterious effect on clubs outside the Premiership). If the merger had gone ahead and the Restrictive Practices Court had ended the current bargaining arrangements, then other broadcasters would have been at a competitive disadvantage vis à vis BSkyB in

in Market relations and the competitive process
Theories and evidence
Josep Banyuls and Albert Recto

differentiation. In some large companies, two-tier wage scales have come to be introduced for incumbent and newly recruited workers and, although this is illegal, in practice it has resulted in the gradual reduction of salaries for new employees. In some sectors, such as finance, the use of individual incentives is so widespread that it is customary to perform unpaid overtime to meet performance targets for the salary bonus. As for professional markets, traditional recruitment policies have been replaced by more competitive processes in which some applicants end up being

in Making work more equal
Christopher T. Marsden

explains that: ‘Ordoliberalism … proposes an alternative method to pure laissez-faire and state planned economy for the better regulation of the market economy by having as goals the protection of the competitive process and individual freedom.’ 11 Vatiero reminds us that ordoliberalism is a political aim to be achieved by the economic means of preventing dominant companies capturing the economic and

in Network neutrality