Ève Chiapello

Financialization of Valuation

This article shows that forms of analysis and calculation specific to finance are spreading and totally changing valuation processes in various social setting. They are first changing the ways of assigning monetary or financial values and ways of economic thinking, and as a result we are witnessing a financialisation of financial and economic matters. This financialisation of valuation also proposes new ways of judging the actions of an organisation for social, artistic or cultural activities, and even nature. The language of finance appears to be gradually invading construction of public policies, especially in 
Europe – and that invasion has been happening faster since the 2000s. The forms of financialised valuation are first defined (section 1). Then it is shown that these forms are bringing about a change in the ways economic and monetary quantifications are being produced (section 2), and also that they are becoming the established approach to all kinds of questions previously relatively untouched by economic reasoning (section 3). The conclusion drives some interpretations, aiming to understand why these forms of quantification are becoming hegemonic by discussing what these analyses can contribute to the study of financialisation of capitalism, which is a major historical phenomenon marking the past three decades.