Over the past two decades, custom-tailored technologies and theoretical models have become ubiquitous features of financial markets. Contemporary markets mean screens displaying an uninterrupted flow of prices in public places, financial products designed with the help of complex mathematical models, software programs for the instant display and analysis of financial data, and much more. Against the background of a global expansion, this massive presence, together with the growing dependence of financial transactions on both technology and formal modeling, raises the question of the impact of science and technology on a fundamental institution of modern societies. The relevance of this question can be better understood if we take into account the historical dimension of the processes through which science and technology have penetrated financial transactions. Historians of economics and sociologists alike have recently acknowledged that this impact should be measured in centuries rather than decades (e.g., Sullivan & Weithers, 1991; Harrison, 1997; Jovanovic & Le Gall, 2001). How do they contribute, then, to the preeminent position occupied by financial institutions in developed societies? To what extent is finance shaped by science and technology?
|Title of host publication||The Handbook of Science and Technology Studies|
|Editors||Edward J. HACKETT, Olga AMSTERDAMSKA, Michael LYNCH, Judy WAJCMAN|
|Number of pages||20|
|Publication status||Published - 2008|