Historical Social Research

Luka Jakelja & Florian Brugger: Why Do Markets Change? Some Conventionalist Considerations on the Stability and Dynamic of Markets. [Abstract]

This paper wants to develop a dynamic approach of markets. We take the economics of conventions (EC) as the basic theoretical framework and expand it regarding concepts, which help to answer the question under which circumstances markets are either (persistently) stable or (radically) dynamic. We introduce EC as a European research program focusing on uncertainty as the fundamental problem on markets. Then we develop the concept of market regimes to draw on some main pillars of the EC and at the same time to focus attention more, as it is usually the case, on the question why conventions are stable and why they change. We argue that usually markets are relatively stable; however, crises, exogenous factors, and divergent interpretations of quality on the individual level (dissatisfaction/critique of key actors) lead to change of conventions and consequently changing market regimes. Analytically, the existing regime fails to overcome uncertainty and establish market coordination. The empirical part of the paper illustrates the theoretical concepts with the case of a regional wine market where radical change led to the fall of the market convention and the rise of the domestic convention.

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