Political markets? Politics and economics in the emergence of markets for biodiversity offsets

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This paper analyses the relationship between politics and performativity of economics in the emergence of markets for biodiversity offsets. While the role of economics in constructing markets has been demonstrated by sociology and social studies of science, it has also become apparent that politics plays an important role in the material outcome of economic experiments. Two case studies of the creation of markets for biodiversity offsets are analysed, in the United States and England. The findings suggest that the creation of both markets is rooted in the language, concepts and models of economics. Politics, on the other hand, functions as a mediator of the material expression of those models. Through this mediation effect, similar economic models are performed differently, resulting in a variety of markets. This suggests that the material outcomes of processes of market creation are not defined at the outset, but can be influenced by political processes.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)335-351
Number of pages17
JournalReview of Social Economy
Issue number3
Early online date19 Apr 2018
Publication statusPublished - 2018

Bibliographical note

This is an Accepted Manuscript of an article published by Taylor & Francis in Review of Social Economy on 19th April 2018, available online: http://www.tandfonline.com/10.1080/00346764.2018.1463445.”


  • Markets
  • Biodiversity offsets
  • Calculation
  • Performativity of economics
  • Politics

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    Noxious Markets

    Ferreira, C., Feb 2016, The SAGE Encyclopedia of Economics and Society. Wherry, F. F. & Schor, J. B. (eds.).

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