#TPAV (The Price And Value, August 06, 2017):

Do people bet on horses when they bet on horses? What does money ‘do’? Does money fundamentally deal with the future? Why don’t we have a market in people anymore? Isn’t Market an elaborate barter system? How do different things commensurate with each other? Does price make value observable? Is the world created by labour? Can labour be the scale for pricing? Can Market solve ‘all’ problems? Is price always embedded in a broader system of values? Why is Copenhagen’s racing different from Delhi’s? Is capitalism also gambling? Does risk, as such, ‘produce’ profit? Does only the capitalist speculate? Can production itself be speculative? Why is bajra inexpensive? Are mortgages human capital derivatives? Is value objective in a sociological (emergent) kind of way? However, are all of us equal price takers? Could/do price theories incorporate the notion of ‘moving’ time? How (relatively) large can the non-basic goods economy be? Is a world without speculation likely? Are we always going to misprice? Would everything be free in a super-abundant future? Will we stay inside the machine? SynTalk thinks about these & more questions using concepts from political economics (Dr. Anush Kapadia, IIT Bombay, Mumbai), anthropology (Dr. Stine Simonsen Puri, University of Copenhagen, Copenhagen, Denmark), & economic history (Prof. Ajit Sinha, Azim Premji University, Bangalore).

Listen in…

SynTalk is pleased and privileged to have hosted the following SynTalkrs (in alphabetical order) on its #TPAV show.

Dr. Anush Kapadia (political economics) is an Assistant Professor at the Department of Humanities and Social Sciences (HSS), IIT Bombay, Mumbai. Prior to joining IITB, he has also taught at City University, London (2013-2016) & at Harvard University (2011-2013). His research interests include sociology and political economy of finance, political economy of development, Indian political economy, theories of money, classical political economy, new and old institutionalism, & history of economic thought. He completed his A.B. (summa cum laude, 2000) in Political Science from Amherst College. He then went to complete his M.A. (2001) & M.Phil. (2007) & Ph.D. (2009) in Anthropology from Columbia University, New York. He was also a Postdoctoral Research Scholar with the Committee on Global Thought at Columbia, where he worked on comparative financial systems, expanding his research to the postwar American financial system. He is currently working on the politics of financial systems, trying to understand how system-design choices are also political choices, and how these choices lead to macro-social outcomes such as growth or crises. His theoretical and empirical work includes case studies covering Indian bond markets, the US shadow-banking system, the EU, and the global reserve system. His forthcoming work examines the evolution of financial market construction in four contexts: post-reform India, postwar America, post-crisis Europe, and the emerging global reserve system. He is also initiating projects on development theory and the informal economy. His long term project is to deploy the tools of classical political economy to understand the construction and breakdown of both contemporary and historical financial formations. This is conceived as a step to understanding how manifold social formations are expressed and contested through the conception, design, and construction of social institutions more generally.

Dr. Stine Simonsen Puri (anthropology) is a postdoctoral fellow with the Department of Cross-Cultural and Regional Studies at University of Copenhagen (UCPH), Copenhagen, Denmark. Before UCPH, Dr. Puri has also been a visiting scholar (2012) at Institute of Public Knowledge, New York University, USA. She completed her  B.A. (2004) & M. Sc. (2006) in social and cultural anthropology from Department of Anthropology, UCPH. She also spent an year as an Exchange student (2003-2004) at School of Social Sciences, JNU, New Delhi. She then completed her Ph.D. in Humanities (2014), from Department of Cross-Cultural and Regional Studies, UCPH, where her thesis was on speculation and informal economy based on long-term fieldwork among gamblers in India. Dr. Puri’s research interests are India, economic anthropology, gambling, finance, sports, movement, dance, emotions, & gender. She focuses on issues related to illegal economy, morality, as well as on gambling addiction. Her overall interest in forms of play is also shown in her previous research on Indian performance traditions. Her current research concerns speculative economies in India evolving around weather uncertainties. The research is based upon fieldwork among gamblers, speculators and farmers in a semiarid region of Rajasthan. The research is part of a joint project ‘Escalation’ which aims to contribute to the theorization of accelerating change, where Dr. Puri is particularly interested in escalating prices. She was also part of an international research group ‘Gambling Research Network’ (2009-2013), hosted at Goldsmith College, University of London. In 2011 she received the Danish Ministry of Science, Technology, and Innovations’ Elite Research Travel Stipend. In 2003, Dr. Stine received one year full grant for studies at JNU, New Delhi, from the Indian Council of Cultural Research (ICCR).

Prof. Ajit Sinha (economic history, economics) is Professor of economics at Azim Premji University, Bangalore. He started his career as lecturer of economics at University of Delhi in 1982 and went on to teach at State University of New York at Buffalo, York University, Canada and The University of Newcastle, Australia. In 1999, he joined LBS National Academy of Administration at Mussoorie as Professor of Economics and taught there for two years. Since then he has held teaching and research positions at: Gokhale Institute of Politics and Economics (Pune) as Professor (and also Director), Maître des Conférences Associé at Collège de France (Paris), Indira Gandhi Institute of Development Research (IGIDR, Mumbai) as a Visiting Professor, University of Paris 1 (Sorbonne), and University of Trento (Italy). His main areas of research have been the history of economic theory, particularly the theories of value and distribution in the history of economics. His other research interests include capital theory, development economics, macroeconomics, & economic methodology. Prof. Sinha received his M.A in Economics from University of Delhi and a Ph.D. in Economics from State University of New York at Buffalo, USA. He has published two books: ‘Theories of Value from Adam Smith to Piero Sraffa’ (Routledge, 2010), and ‘A Revolution in Economic Theory: The Economics of Piero Sraffa’ (Palgrave Macmillan, 2016). Prof. Sinha has also co-edited two books and was a member of the editorial board of the two-volume Encyclopedia of Political Economy, published by Routledge in 1999. Currently he is working on a book titled ‘Essays in Theories of Value in Classical Tradition’, containing his selected works and a few new pieces. He is also working on the second edition of Theories of Value from Adam Smith to Piero Sraffa with an ‘afterword’. He is also presently co-editing (with Alex Thomas) a volume titled Economics and its History, to be published by Routledge.

Note: Any & all errors in the brief profiles above are SynTalk’s own.

#TPAV mentions:  Adam Smith, Ricardo, Karl Marx, Friedrich Hayek, John Maynard Keynes, Ludwig Wittgenstein, Piero Sraffa, Hyman Minsky, Robert W. Clower, Clifford Geertz, Amartya Sen, Warren Buffet, & Michael J. Sandel, among others.