JoJorisar It might well be correctthatthe two are not distinguished in Sefroufolkeconomics: Most oftheirtransactions areconductednotthroughofficialchannels,buton an interpersonal and cash basiswithoutany documentation. The presentanalysisof the bazaar gdertz naivetyof the assumptionthatcommoditiessuch as wheat, potatoes or cotton representnaturally homogeneous raw materials. Qualityandquantity of goodsaregivenandthesellerhasonlytheoptionofaltering theprice. In thebazaarwe finda segmentary typeof businessorganisation. In Theeconomics ofinformation andknowledge ed. Corrections All material on this site has been provided by the vazaar publishers and authors.

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Geertz, Clifford. The bazaar economy this one of a city in Morroco does follow the maxims of formal economics -- everyone wants to buy cheap and sell dear, price relates supply and demand, etc. But the principles that govern the organization of economic life. In the bazaar information is poor, scarce, maldistributed, inefficiently communicated, and intensely valued.

In the bazaar, "the search for information one lacks and the protection of information one has is the name of the game". Unlike industrial economies, information less improves efficiency or product quality then by securing for their possessor an advantaged place in an enormously complicated, poorly articulated, and extremely noisy communication network.

Information search is thus the really advanced art in the bazaar.. Two most important search procedures are clientelization and bargaining. Clientelization is the tendency for repetitive purchasers to estabilish continuing relationships with particular sellers than to go through the market with each occaision of need.

These relationships are not dependency relations, but competitive ones. Clientization represents an actor-level attempt to counteract, and profit from, the system-level deficiencies of the bazaar as a communication network.

In the bazaar the important information problems have to do with determining the realities of the particular case rather than the general distribution of comparable causes".


Clifford Geertz

Meztikasa Sincepricesare muchmoreeasilyascertainable and comparable forthe buyerthanqualityand quantity in thebazaar,thosesellersoffering thelowestprices are easilyidentifiable. I shallseek to show thatthesestructural partitionsare not equally charac- terisedby behaviouralconfusionbut constitutedistincttypesof markets. The pricemechanism can function as an efficientcommunicative system forthe optimalallocationof resources onlyifbothbuyersand sellersare relatively certain aboutthequality andquantity ofcommodities inthemarket, sothattheyarecomparable relativeto price. Were bazaar tradersto provide documentationof theirbusiness- dealings,thiswould oftenonly furnishevidence of tax evasion,black marketdealingsand otherillegalactivities. In markets forperishableproducts, commodities areusuallydisplayed andrelatively easilyinspectable andoftensoldpiecemeal, therebycounteracting quality andquantity uncertainty. The presentanalysisof the bazaar economy,however,indicatesthe naivetyof the assumptionthatcommoditiessuch as wheat, potatoes or cotton representnaturally homogeneous raw materials.



This is the study of peasant market systems, or what I will call bazaar economies. There has been by now a long tradition of peasant market studies in anthropology. Much of it has been merely descriptiveinductivism gone berserk. That part which has had analytical interests has tended to divide itself into two approaches. Either the bazaar is seen as the nearest real world institution to the purely competitive market of neoclassical economics- "penny capitalism"; or it is regarded as an institution so embedded in its sociocultural context as to escape the reach of modern economic analysis altogether. These contrasting approaches have formed the poles of an extended debate between economic anthropologists designated "formalists" and those designated "substantivists," a debate that has now rather staled for all but the most persevering. Some recent developments in economic theory having to do with the role of information, communication, and knowledge in exchange processes see Michael Spence; George Stigler; Kenneth Arrow; George Akerlof; Albert Rees promise to mute this formalism-substantivism contrast.


He would then attend Harvard University , graduating in as a student in the Department of Social Relations, an interdisciplinary program led by Talcott Parsons. As such, Geertz would work with Parsons, as well as Clyde Kluckhohn , training as an anthropologist. Geertz would conduct his first long-term fieldwork together with his wife, Hildred, in Java , Indonesia , a project funded by the Ford Foundation and MIT. In this period Geertz expanded his focus on Indonesia to include both Java and Bali and produced three books, including Religion of Java , Agricultural Involution , and Peddlers and Princes also

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