Expanding the Economic Concept of Exchange

Deception, Self-Deception and Illusions

  • Caroline Gerschlager

Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-vii
  2. Introduction

    1. Caroline Gerschlager
      Pages 1-24
  3. The Conceptual Range of Exchange and Deception

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 25-25
    2. Paul Dumouchel
      Pages 53-65
    3. Ulrich Thielemann
      Pages 67-81
  4. The Economics of Deception: Simulation and Pseudo-Realities

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 83-83
    2. Holger Bonus
      Pages 85-99
    3. Philip Mirowski
      Pages 101-118
  5. Archaic Religious Settings of Exchange: Animal Spirits, Gods and Other “Imaginary Partners”

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 119-119
    2. Martin Treml
      Pages 149-163
  6. Deception in Economic Anthropology: Being Mystified?

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 165-165
    2. Isabelle Schulte-Tenckhoff
      Pages 167-188
  7. Gender, Sacrifice and Veils

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 199-199
    2. Birge Krondorfer
      Pages 201-211
    3. Wilhelm Berger
      Pages 225-235
    4. Caroline Gerschlager
      Pages 237-241
  8. Back Matter
    Pages 243-263

About this book


Exchange is a pervasive concept in everyday life, affecting phenomena as diverse as interpersonal relationships and market transactions. In addition, economists have used the concept in a highly specific and clearly delineated way. Against this background, Expanding the Economic Concept of Exchange sets out to expand the concept of exchange by crossing the boundaries laid down by economists and by examining the function played by deceptions, self-deceptions and illusions. The main motivation for expanding the concept of exchange was the realization that in the prototypical economic model deception is not taken into account. Hence, economists traditionally regard deception as some sort of irrationality, as a flaw in an otherwise perfectly rational process. Authors represented in this volume take a different approach examining deception as a constituent quality of exchange. This is shown by the contributions drawing on recent developments in economic theory, by those with an anthropological orientation, as well as by a contribution referring specifically to Adam Smith. An interrogation into deception is long overdue in economics. This volume prepares the ground for and makes the first contributions to explicitly acknowledging deceptions, self-deceptions and illusions as fundamental dimensions allowing us as economists to further research and develop the concept of change. A particular and perhaps unexpected focus of this volume lies on anthropology, because economics can clearly benefit from integrating selected results on deception from outside its expanding domain. It is primarily targeted at economists interested in institutional aspects of exchanges and social theory. In addition, the topic will find interested readers from anthropology, cultural studies, science studies, philosophy.


Adam Smith Institution anthropology knowledge logic philosophy

Editors and affiliations

  • Caroline Gerschlager
    • 1
  1. 1.Institute of EconomicsVienna University of Economics and the University of ViennaAustria

Bibliographic information

  • DOI
  • Copyright Information Kluwer Academic Publishers, Boston 2001
  • Publisher Name Springer, Boston, MA
  • eBook Packages Springer Book Archive
  • Print ISBN 978-1-4613-5297-6
  • Online ISBN 978-1-4615-0905-9
  • Buy this book on publisher's site