Discovery and social learning in non-priced environments: An Austrian view of social network theory

Discovery and social learning in non-priced environments: An Austrian view of social network theory Our purpose here is to engage in a cross-disciplinary discussion between Austrian economics and social network theory. In particular, we ask what role social networks play in the extended order in regard to both individual discovery and whether social networks can be the source of widespread unintended cooperation among individuals unknown to one another. Although Austrians have examined the function that market prices play in generating social cooperation, such discussions tend to steer clear of non-priced environments, such as interaction within social networks. We seek to explore this gap. While we acknowledge that non-price information feedback mechanisms such as status and reputation lack the calculability so crucial to market coordination, we argue that they can nonetheless mimic other important qualities of market prices and generate widespread unintended social cooperation among people unknown to one another. After a general discussion, we apply these ideas to online philanthropic communities. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png The Review of Austrian Economics Springer Journals

Discovery and social learning in non-priced environments: An Austrian view of social network theory

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Publisher
Springer US
Copyright
Copyright © 2007 by Springer Science+Business Media, LLC
Subject
Economics; Public Finance; Political Science; History of Economic Thought/Methodology
ISSN
0889-3047
eISSN
1573-7128
D.O.I.
10.1007/s11138-007-0039-8
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

Our purpose here is to engage in a cross-disciplinary discussion between Austrian economics and social network theory. In particular, we ask what role social networks play in the extended order in regard to both individual discovery and whether social networks can be the source of widespread unintended cooperation among individuals unknown to one another. Although Austrians have examined the function that market prices play in generating social cooperation, such discussions tend to steer clear of non-priced environments, such as interaction within social networks. We seek to explore this gap. While we acknowledge that non-price information feedback mechanisms such as status and reputation lack the calculability so crucial to market coordination, we argue that they can nonetheless mimic other important qualities of market prices and generate widespread unintended social cooperation among people unknown to one another. After a general discussion, we apply these ideas to online philanthropic communities.

Journal

The Review of Austrian EconomicsSpringer Journals

Published: Jan 8, 2008

References

  • Capital as embodied knowledge: Some implications for the theory of economic growth
    Baetjer, H.

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