-Paradox of shopping here is surrounding oneself with superior communication links. -Exploit information imbalances in the end. -2 main. The Bazaar Economy: Information and Search in Peasant Marketing. Clifford Geertz. American Economic Review, , vol. 68, issue 2, Geertz, Clifford, “The Bazaar Economy: Information and Search in Peasant Marketing,” American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol.

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Being men of intelligence and characterthey built a ‘nation of shopkeepers’ and often advocated a policy of a ‘just price’. His former accountant hasmeanwhile set up hisown grocery businesswithhisformer employer’s capital,manyof thesame suppliers andcustomers, butwithoutanyemployees, relyinginsteadon hissons. Commodities are passed through a longchainof middlemen, who bulkand breakbulkat different levelsof themarketing system so thattheprovenance ofa productbecomesunidentifiable and itsqualities uncertain.

Theyarealwayspreparedto offer advice on suchsubjects aswhichrubbersandalsarethesoftest, orwhichbatteries lastlongest. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the “citations” tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation. These means of measurementare controlledby the sellerswho therefore have theopportunity to manipulatethemin theirfavour,and are universally suspected of so doing.

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The easiestwayto conveythemessagethata shopoffers a widerangeofgoods is to displaythem. Thereareveryfewallegations of dishonesty againstsellersof substitutable commodities. Post navigation Previous Previous. When therewas, forexample, a sudden influxof labourersworking in the nearbyforests,one of the bazaar tradersimmediatelyextendedcreditto them.

He was the first toinstala telephoneline,he employed an accountant, andsenthistwoeldestsons to studycommercein theDistrict headquarters. In contrastto cheques, invoices,etc. Post was not sent – check your email addresses!

The main sources of capital for the bazaar traderare those within the bazaar economy itself, namelymoneylendersand chit funds. The reasonwhy the role distinctionbetween buyerand selleris not partof the economic discourseof the bazaar seems to lie in the empiricallyhigh incidence of the combinationof the roles of buyer and seller in the same person, namelythemiddleman.


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The Bazaar Economy: Information and Search in Peasant Marketing

Skip to main content. In reality,such gedrtz heterogeneous;thereare variationsin qualitythatopen the door formanipulativepracticesaimed at disguising thesevariationsfromthe sellerwhilstexploitingdifferences in buyingprice.

This typeof organisational environment greatly reducestheoperational scopeof middlemen, brokersandallkindsofintermediary traders who arecharacteristic ofthe bazaar. It might well be correctthatthe two are not distinguished in Sefroufolkeconomics: As a resultthe bazaar folkloreis litteredwith accounts of brokentraderelationships and of how formerfriendshave turnedinto bitterenemies.

The Bazaar Economy: Information and Search in Peasant Marketing

Onlyundersuchconditions canthepricesystem function asan efficient meansofcommunication matching geerttz to demand. Thisfeature ofbazaarbusiness organisationis bestillustratedbytheexampleofone ofthemostspectacular business inKalakkadu. Iftheirsourceis notidentifiable theycanbe addedto priceas extracost,rather thanremaining an unquantifiable drainon capital whichonlysurfaces whenthebusiness finallycrashes.

Withthedeclining importance ofpersonalloyaltyin thelabourmarket, theim- portance ofprevious experience, skill,andevenformal training, increases. Iftheirsourcecanbe identified, theyareeasilypunished becausetraders themselvesarelessaccessibletoblackmail byemployees thanarebazaar manyofwhosebusiness traders, operations areillegalso thatin caseofdisputes legal remedyis usuallynotavailableto them.

While price differencesare only veryimperfectly relatedto qualityand quantity variation,theyare closely relatedto differences in buyers’ commercialcompetence and marketexperience,and theirwillingnessto bargainwith and canvass different sellersin orderto geerfz market: Money is a verydifferent kind of commodityfromthe goods tradedin the bazaar.

Click here to sign up. Thisdoesnotmeanthatsuch a system mustbe perfect in termsof itsphysicalaccuracy, whichevenin scientific measurement is an bazaae. They are therefore associatedwithbasic differences in businessorganisationand marketstructure.

Abzaar factthereis littleto choose between themin termsof appearance,serviceor price,preciselybecause they do not compete againsteach otherforcustomers,but do businesswith each otherand insteadcompete with buyers.

While in the bazaar business expansion is limitedby the number of buyersabout whom the traderhas enough personalknowledge to be able to assesstheircreditworthiness and forwhom he has enough capitalto sell on credit,in a marketdominatedby cash paymentsa bazaag attracta potentiallyunlimitednumberof customers.

With theexceptionofcounterfeits’, itis a commoditywhose value is perfectly certain. Advertising In contrast to theexcessivesecretiveness ofthebazaarwhichbothgrowsout ofand seedssuspicion, buyersin thesubstitutable commodity market arefloodedwithinfor- mation.


In fact,of coursemanyof theseare not reallyinformative gfertz businessspecialisation at all, becausemostpeoplearenotliterate in English. FANSELOW Quality standardisation In thebazaarthereareno verifiable andreliablestandards ofquality, andthemanipu- lationof qualityby mixinginferior with superior products or through outright adulteration with alien substances is believed to be endemic.

Obtainingproducers’catalogues, inviting itinerantcommission agents, and establishing contactswithregionaldistributing agentsare amongthe various methods usedto monitor market developments andcanvassthemaximum numberof priceoffers. These functional differences areparalleled,in turn,by different organisationalstructuresof businessand market.

In thebazaarthissystem ofmeasurement and controlis highlyimperfect and the pricemechanism cannottherefore function efficiently. When requesting a correction, please mention this item’s handle: The wholeself-perpetuating andself-sustainingsystem ofindependent middle- menandbrokers in thebazaardependson bazzar to passon goodsofuncertain provenance, dubiousqualityandindeterminate quantity to eachother.

In thisarticleI shall seek to show thatthereare fundamentaleconomic and organisationaldiscon- tinuitiesbetween these types of business,which make them organisationallyand functionally incompatible.

feertz Information and Searchin Peasant Marketing. In such economies most transactions involvegoods,which are branded,prepackaged,processed,sealed or otherwisehighly standardised and substitutable.

But thissupposedly uniformcategoryof economic phenomena in the Third World also includes the so-called ‘show window bazaar’ in the Frenchcolonial quarterof Sefrou: These are also theonlykindsof businesses whichhavepurpose-designed rather buildings thanrentedgeneral-purposepremises. Log In Sign Up. Three typesofshopsexistwhich in thekinds of goods concerned,capitalization,and size could well be combined into one: In marketsforheterogeneous,non-substitutable goods and services,in whichstand- ardsarerelatively unverifiable and uncertain,and consequentlyin whichscrupulousness is not rewardedand unscrupulousness not punished,bazaar tradeis economicallythe morerationalstrategy, indeeditbecomesa preconditionforcontinuationin themarket.

It was a fortunatecreed in an age when standardisedgoods were beginningto come on to the market,and it helped to make Britishcommercial institutionsrespected throughout the world In the bazaar, on the other hand, such previous experiencein runningtheirown businessis seen as a potential threatby the employer,because of the suspicionthatemployeeswill use such skills fortheirown ratherthanthe shopkeeper’sbenefit.