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Institutional Logic of Market Governance: Based on the Theory of Risk Transformation

From the perspective of risk transformation theory and the analytical framework of social game theory, this paper tries to explain a group of stable and repeated phenomena which occur in the process of local governments’ governance of markets, that are the multiple roles of local governments in markets, the unsettled boundaries between governments and markets, and the uncertainty of economic risk sharing rules, and so on. This research shows that the inner contradiction between market transformation and lawlessness background, the task pressure of economic governance and political stability, and the coexistence of contract principle and paternalism, are three-dimensional environments of market governance faced by the local governments. Given these institutional environments, there are three logical results. First, an economic risk is easy to be transferred to a political risk. The local governments need to choose the governance structure, balancing economic governance incentives and political risk constraints. Second, the combination of the performance signal transmission mechanism, economic risk transferring mechanism, and political risk weakening mechanism, influences the boundary between government and market. Third, the uncertainty of risk sharing rules is from multivariate legitimacy foundations and multiple institutional logics of the game between local governments and the market players.

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