Guillaume Yon

  • Presentation

Thesis title: Pricing electricity in France in the 1960s

Alexandre Mallard, supervisor
In recent years, an ambitious research program was progressively built up in order to investigate the economization processes including all the operations an organization of economic entities requires. The first empirical inquiries focused on a particular type of organization omnipresent nowadays: markets. Tim Mitchell’s pioneer work on Egypt has opened new research avenues on economization processes by unearthing a mode of organization of economic entities different from market construction in that it mobilizes other theories and material than those implemented in market organization. In short, the issue is to build national economy, not market. This thesis seeks to enrich the description of this original economic gesture (which is together a political and a social gesture and which bends the collective work in a certain way). The thesis is structured around an investigation on the implementation of electricity pricing in France in the 1960s, and it shows how high-profile theorists (Maurice Allais, Marcel Boiteux) collaborated with engineers, Plan Directors, statisticians from the INSEE (National Institute for Statistics and Economic Studies), company-based unions, to perform an organization where the entities being addressed, the conception of balance, the role of prices (to mention but only some of the issues that will be developed ) were thought out in a very creative and innovative way. Such an investigation is therefore necessary to those who are interested in reviewing the regimes of economisation.