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Markets from Networks : Socioeconomic Models of Production - Harrison C. White

Markets from Networks

Socioeconomic Models of Production

Paperback Published: 24th October 2004
ISBN: 9780691120386
Number Of Pages: 416

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In "Markets from Networks," one of America's most influential sociologists unveils a groundbreaking theory of the market economy. Arguing that most economists use overly abstract models of how the economy operates, Harrison White seeks a richer, more empirically based alternative. In doing so, he offers a more lucid, generalized treatment of the market models described in his important earlier work in order to show how any given market is situated in a broader exchange economy.

White argues that the key to economic action is that producers seek market niches to maximize profit and minimize competition. As they do so, they base production decisions not only on anticipated costs from suppliers and anticipated demand from buyers, but also by looking at their competitors. In fact, White asserts, producers act less in response to actual demand than by anticipating it: they gauge where competitors have found demand and thus determine what they can do that is similar and yet different enough to give themselves a special niche.

Building on these and related insights, White creates new mathematical models of how the economy works and how the interaction of its sectors creates mutual protection from the uncertainties of business. These models provide new ways of accounting for profits, prices, market shares, and other vital economic phenomena. He shows, for example, that prices are determined by the coalescing of local variables rather than set in terms of averages as implied by the ''law'' of supply and demand. The model of ''pure'' competition favored by economics is deficient, he concludes, as it fails to account for the varied circumstances of particular industries.

Throughout, White draws extensively on case studies of American businesses and on recent mathematical and sociological work on networks. Rivaling standard economic theories with its rich empirical grounding, sheer originality, and scholarly rigor, "Markets from Networks" will resonate in economics and economic sociology for years to come.

Industry Reviews

Winner of the 2004 Viviana Zelizer Distinguished Book Award in Economic Sociology, American Sociological Association "This is an original and stimulating work by an eminent sociologist who undertakes to analyze the structure and workings of economic markets."--W. J. Baumol, Journal of Economics "This is a work of remarkable scope and ambition. Harrison White is one of the leading lights of 'new economic sociology'."--Costas Lapavitsas, Enterprise & Society

List of Figuresp. ix
List of tablesp. xi
Prefacep. xiii
Acknowledgmentsp. xv
Introductionp. 1
Firms Embed Into A Market
Profiles for a Marketp. 27
Market planep. 49
Quality and Unravelingp. 78
Signaling and PARADOXp. 95
Markets Compete, Too
Substitutability Extendedp. 121
Market Spacep. 139
Estimating Qualities and Parametersp. 158
Markets Along Networks
Facing Upstream or Downp. 177
Embed and Decouplep. 200
Suppressing Market Realitiesp. 221
Markets And Firms Over Time
Investing across marketsp. 245
Strategic Moves and Market Evolutionp. 266
Contrasting Research Perspectivesp. 284
Business Culturesp. 299
Conclusionp. 317
Appendix. On Computationsp. 331
Glossary of Symbolsp. 339
Notesp. 342
Referencesp. 353
Indexp. 381
Table of Contents provided by Publisher. All Rights Reserved.

ISBN: 9780691120386
ISBN-10: 0691120382
Audience: Tertiary; University or College
Format: Paperback
Language: English
Number Of Pages: 416
Published: 24th October 2004
Publisher: Princeton University Press
Country of Publication: US
Dimensions (cm): 23.5 x 15.88  x 1.91
Weight (kg): 0.57