ISBN : 9780199594658
How do we place value on goods - and, importantly, why? Valuation and pricing are core issues in the market economy, but understanding of these concepts and their interrelation is weak. In response, The Worth of Goods takes a sociological approach to the perennial but timely question of what makes a product valuable. Structured in three parts, it first examines value in the broader sense - moral values and how they are formed, and the relations between economic and non-economic values - discussing such matters as the value of an oil spill, the price of a scientific paper, value in ethical consumption, and imaginative value. The second part discusses the issues surrounding valuation in aesthetic markets, specifically wine, fashion models, art, and the creative industries. The third part analyzes valuation in financial markets - credit rating agencies, stock exchange markets, and industrial production. This pioneering volume brings together leading social scientists to provide a range of theoretical tools and case studies for understanding price and the creation of value in markets within social and cultural contexts and preconditions. It is an important source for scholars in economics, sociology, anthropology, and political science interested in how markets work, and how value is established.
1. Value in Markets
SECTION I: WHAT IS VALUABLE?
2. Price and Prejudice: On Economics and the Enchantment (or Disenchantment) of Nature
3. What is the Price of a Scientific Paper?
4. The Value of Ethics: Monitoring Normative Compliance in Ethical Consumption Markets
5. The Transcending Power of Goods: Imaginative Value in the Economy
SECTION II: AESTHETIC MARKETS
6. Symbolic Value and the Establishment of Prices: Globalization of the Wine Market
7. Pricing Looks: Circuits of Value in Fashion Modeling Markets
8. Damien's Dangerous Idea: Selling Contemporary Art at Auction
9. Infinite Surprises: On the Stabilization of Value in the Creative Industries
SECTION III: FINANCIAL MARKETS
10. Forecasting as Valuation: The Role of Ratings and Predictions in the Subprime Mortgage Crisis in the US
11. Selling Value in Kenya's Nairobi Stock Exchange
12. Coping with Contingencies in Equity Option Markets: The "Rationality" of Pricing
SECTION IV: ORGANIZATIONS
13. Valuing Products as Cultural Symbols: A Conceptual Framework and Empirical Illustration
14. What's Valuable?