A French Institutionalism in Economic Sociology?

Pierre François (2021)

In: Maurer, Andrea (ed.), Handbook of Economic Sociology for the 21st Century. Cham: Springer, pp. 63-77.

Abstract. No French economic sociologist defines himself as an institutionalist. Though, it is possible to identify three approaches that stress the importance of institutions (designated as devices, conventions, tools, or equipment) in economic life, especially in markets: economics of singularities, economics of convention, and performativity theory. These approaches based their frameworks on a set of shared intuitions: first, actors engaged in market transactions faced with high uncertainty; second, to deal with this uncertainty, they relied on devices, and conventions, that can be analyzed as institutions. These approaches develop several typologies, that help classify the tools available for actors engaged in concrete markets. Because they are based on the same set of intuitions, these theories also share the same blind spots.

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