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PRECIRCULATED DRAFT – DO NOT CITE Economies through transparency

By Emiliano Grossman, Emilio Luque and Fabian Muniesa


In this paper, we have tried to bring some light into the contemporary propagation of the notion of “transparency ” as a guideline to enforce new configurations of economic life. Several interpretations, sometimes contradictory, can be found in the actual use of this notion. We have analysed its semiotic complexity through a large corpus of technical and academic literature. We have confronted the results of this preliminary analysis to three specific fields. In the domain of financial markets ’ trading process, we have encountered a transition from a “literal ” idea of transparency to an “abstract ” sense. The accuracy of the representation of market’s state (the efficiency of price discovery, as economists would put it) can require the implementation of trading mechanisms that enforce anonymity: in this case, transparency is strictly associated to the representation of parties through (and only through) prices. The case of corporate governance helps us outline the disciplinary uses of transparency. Economic actors may demand a flow of information from other actors, so that they can verify the displacement (or otherwise) of these latter’s actions in relation to publicly held standards of conduct. When dealing with the state and regulation, transparency is to ensure the clarificatio

Year: 2002
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