The New Palgrave Dictionary of Economics

2018 Edition
| Editors: Macmillan Publishers Ltd


  • Geoffrey M. Hodgson
Reference work entry


Until recently, and despite strong interest in market outcomes, economists have paid relatively little attention to the institutional structure of markets. This article considers the historical evolution of markets and poses some dilemmas concerning their definition. Several alternative definitions are considered, involving different degrees of historical specificity. It is argued that developments in economics and elsewhere since the 1980s point to a more nuanced view of markets, involving a recognition of different types of market mechanisms and institutions. These developments include work in experimental economics and auction theory. A definition of markets is offered that is consistent with these developments.


Agent-based models Amsterdam Bourse Auctions Auctions Austrian economics Bonded labour Central planning Clark, J. M Coase, R Commodity exchange Commons, J Contemporary capitalism Contracts for service Cultural norms Dutch East India Company Economic sociology Experimental economics Game theory General equilibrium German Historical School Gift-exchange Globalization Hayek, F Hobson, J Imperfect information Information Labour market contracts Law of one price Learning London Stock Exchange Market institutions Marketplaces Markets Marriage markets Marxism Mises, L. von Missing markets New institutional economics New York Stock Exchange North, D Parsons, T Polanyi, K Property rights Rau, K. H Relational exchange Robbins, L Slavery Smith, V Stigler, G Trust Weber, M 

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© Macmillan Publishers Ltd. 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Geoffrey M. Hodgson
    • 1
  1. 1.