Performativity Rationalized

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

See all articles by Francesco Guala

Francesco Guala

Università degli Studi di Milano - Department of Economics, Management and Quantitative Methods

Date Written: May 10, 2015

Abstract

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

Guala, Francesco, Performativity Rationalized (May 10, 2015). Prepared for Enacting the Dismal Science: New Perspectives on the Performativity of Economics, edited by Ivan Boldyrev and Ekaterina Svetlova. Palgrave-MacMillan, 2015, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2616814

Francesco Guala (Contact Author)

Università degli Studi di Milano - Department of Economics, Management and Quantitative Methods ( email )

via Conservatorio 7
Milano, 20122
Italy

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