Sometimes the w…

Sometimes the word ‘exchange’ is substituted for ‘distribution’, but we insist on a distinction. Exchange is a universal principle of economic life but it takes many forms and not all flows of resources should be categorized as exchanges. The payment of tribute to a ruler may be said to bring you his protection in exchange, but this is a misleading representation of an unequal relationship, while welfare payments by a modern state are better seen as transfers financed by taxation—a new form of sharing.

From Chris Hann and Keith Hart’s “Economic Anthropology: history, ethnography, critique”.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s