Fellows Academic Program

Fellows Academic Program
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  • Research Seminars
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The Center has organized a set of five intensive and high-level research seminars for its 2018-2019 group of fellows. These seminars are also opened to a small, select group of PhD students from across the campus whose research relates to the Center’s main theme:

Resarch Seminar



Initial bibliography

State, Society and the Market

Prof. Alon Harel


The course deals with the relations between state, society and the market. What are the relations between the market, civil society and the state? Is the market a pre-political natural entity or is it a byproduct of an ideological and political decision? What are the spheres that ought to be governed by the market and what are the spheres that ought to be governed by the state? What are the implications of privatization?



Economy and Modernity

Prof. Michael Zakim


The seminar will explore the keywords of modern economic life – property, labor, value, exchange, profit, and market, to name a representative sampling – by reading various key texts of modern economic thought.  The aim is to develop a multi-disciplinary conversation that will seek to situate economy in its more general social, cultural, and political contexts.



The Building Blocks of the Market: Property and Contracts

Prof. Hanoch Dagan


This seminar covers some of the major theories of property and contracts, which are of course the most fundamental building blocks of the market. We will discuss both conceptual and normative accounts, focusing respectively on the structure of property and contracts as well as on their putative (welfarist or right-based) normative underpinnings. Throughout our deliberations we will try to bring these theoretical questions to life by grounding them in some of the most persistent and contentious problems facing contemporary society.



Capitalism and Inequality

Prof. Roy Kreitner


In the fallout of the financial crisis that has become the great recession, economic inequality has reached its prime. It is still mounting, but people have taken notice and the discourse of economic inequality has shifted. What was up until recently an issue primarily discussed in terms of distributive justice between the global north and the global south has taken a domestic and a political turn: inequality is becoming the focus of concern within the richest countries. Recently, a wave of empirical research has shown what most observers had intuited for years: inequality is growing, and reaching alarming proportions. The complaints have now become commonplace; the denials, muted. But the consensus over inequality is actually quite thin. Nearly everyone agrees (or concedes) that it is a problem, but there is less agreement on three big questions: why is inequality a problem? What are the drivers of growing inequality? How can inequality be combatted? We will discuss some of the current work examining these questions.



The Market and the State

Prof. Talia Fisher


The seminar will be dedicated to the issue of the proper scope of the market, and to reflective thought regarding the expansion of the market realm, as manifested by two related phenomena – commodification and privatization. Commodification reflects the infiltration of market logic to what were otherwise external arenas, and the conversion of people, attributes, and relationships into commodities.  Privatization signals the transfer of services and industries from the state to the market, similarly leading to market expansion.  Our discussions on commodification will address the classic “taboo trades” – such as prostitution or the sale of human organs – as well as markets for votes and conscription. The deliberation on privatization will take place against the background of the commodification debate, and will be dedicated to private prisons and to the privatization of law. The methodological tools will range from economic analysis to political theory.  



Law, Markets and Inequalitiy Dr. Tamar Kricheli-Katz


The past two decades have witnessed a series of technological developments that enabled the emergence of the “sharing economy” – online platforms that promote the sharing of goods, services, resources and talents among users through the Internet. This project focuses on peer-to-peer market platforms in which consumers pay to access goods and services for a period of time – like peer-to-peer financing (e.g. Prosper, Zopa), product markets (eBay) and short-term accommodations (e.g. AirBnB, Homeway). Whereas the emerging sharing economy enables more appealing and more ethical consumption options, as well as the creation of collaborative web communities, an emerging body of literature suggests that disparities in peer-to-peer online markets are significant in magnitude and implications. Yet, while this emerging body of literature is able to show that women and Black sellers and hosts are disadvantaged in peer-to-peer online markets, the data could not answer the question of why and how such disadvantages are obtained and whether they are similar in magnitude and causes to discrimination in other off-line markets. This project empirically investigates inequality and discrimination in the sharing economy and, as a result contributes to our understanding of the ways in which the cyber system should be regulated.



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