Inventing Value

A book launch and conversation with Dave Elder-Vass

A book launch and conversation with Dave Elder-Vass, author of Inventing Value: The Social Construction of Monetary Worth.

17th November 2022

The buying and selling of assets and commodities is central to our contemporary economy, and we cannot make sense of these transactions without the concept of value. But what is value? Where does it come from? Is it created or constructed? How do we determine the value of the things we buy and sell? And who shapes these processes?

Former ISRF Political Economy Fellow Dave Elder-Vass addresses the history and present status of value in his new book, Inventing Value: The Social Construction of Monetary Worth (Cambridge, 2022). He moves beyond the theories of value that descend from Marx and from neoclassical economics, analyzing how value is constructed in a series of sites in the contemporary economy – Bitcoin, structured subprime securities, venture capital, and others.

Elder-Vass combines his remarkable technical expertise with new forms of political thought that might increase public control over finance. He shows how reinventing the theory of value is a crucial means to that end. 

Elder-Vass presents an overview of his book, and is joined by two commentators: Angela Martinez Dy, Senior Lecturer in Entrepreneurship at Loughborough University London’s Institute for Innovation and Entrepreneurship, and Vice-Chair of Marketing and Communications for the Gender and Enterprise Network (GEN); and Jamie Morgan, Professor of Economics at Leeds Beckett University and co-editor (with Barry Gills) of the recent volume Economics and Climate Emergency (Routledge, 2022). Questions and a discussion follow, moderated by Professor Christopher Newfield, ISRF Director of Research.

This is the nineteenth in the ISRF’s series of Book Launches.