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The Institutions of the MarketOrganizations, Social Systems, and Governance$
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Alexander Ebner and Nikolaus Beck

Print publication date: 2008

Print ISBN-13: 9780199231423

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2008

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199231423.001.0001

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On the Social Structure of Markets: A Review and Assessment in the Perspective of the New Institutional Economics

On the Social Structure of Markets: A Review and Assessment in the Perspective of the New Institutional Economics

Chapter:
(p.157) 7 On the Social Structure of Markets: A Review and Assessment in the Perspective of the New Institutional Economics
Source:
The Institutions of the Market
Author(s):

Rudolf Richter

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199231423.003.0008

This chapter deals with the claim of sociologists that the social structure of markets matters for their performance. ‘Social structure’ is understood as ‘structure of social relationships between actors’. To understand the meaning of ‘social structure’, a reasonable starting point is social network analysis. This chapter begins with a brief description of some basic concepts of social network analysis. It then considers some of the major sociological contributions on the effect of the structure of social relationships between actors on market performance. It shows that positive market models need to include elements of existing social networks between actors to become ‘sufficiently good approximations for the purpose in hand’.

Keywords:   market structure sociology, social relationships, social network analysis, market performance, market models

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