All Cyber Publications Books Cambridge Studies in Economics, Choice, and Society

The Politics of Order in Informal Markets: How the State Shapes Private Governance

June 24, 2021

 

The Politics of Order in Informal Markets: How the State Shapes Private Governance

Property rights are important for economic exchange, but many governments don't protect them. Private market organizations can fill this gap by providing an institutional structure to enforce agreements, but with this power comes the ability to extort group members. Under what circumstances, then, will private organizations provide a stable environment for economic activity?

Based on market case studies and a representative survey of traders in Lagos, Nigeria, this book argues that threats from the government can force an association to behave in ways that promote trade. The findings challenge the conventional wisdom that private good governance in developing countries thrives when the government keeps its hands off private group affairs. Instead, Grossman argues, leaders among traders behave in ways that promote trade primarily because of the threat of government intrusion.

Shelby Grossman

Shelby Grossman, PhD Research Scholar, Stanford Internet Observatory CDDRL Postdoctoral Fellow, 2016-17
shelby grossman