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Paper 1 – Traditional Market Institutions and Complex Exchange: Exploring Transition and Change in the Bangladesh Rice Market

Contributor: K A S Murshid

Publication Period: September 2011

This paper explores the unaddressed question of how the large, complex paddy-rice market in Bangladesh is able to solve the problem of complex exchange, faced by the dominant rice millers and brokers (aratdars) who face the most complex risks. It explores agency issues in exchange resolved by intermediaries, and points to norms and trusts within trading networks that underpin these. It notes significant but opposing trends over two decades in different areas, particularly in terms of market structure, trade circuits and exchange relations. Evidence of a sharp decline in tied transactions points to the growing importance of impersonal exchange.

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