Prepared for Enacting the Dismal Science: New Perspectives on the Performativity of Economics, edited by Ivan Boldyrev and Ekaterina Svetlova. Palgrave-MacMillan, 2015
23 Pages Posted: 12 Jun 2015
Date Written: May 10, 2015
Economic sociologists have been criticized for using the term “performativity” in a way that seems unfaithful to Austin’s notion. In this paper I defend this usage against Uskali Mäki’s challenge, in particular his claim that economic theories cannot constitute illocutionary acts. To counter this claim I argue that performative speech acts play primarily a coordinating role by manipulating agents’ beliefs, and this is the same role that theories like the Black-Scholes model of option pricing play in financial markets, if MacKenzie’s historical reconstruction is right.
Keywords: Performativity, self-fulfilling prophecy, finance
JEL Classification: B41
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation