Marginal Gains: Monetary Transactions in Atlantic Africa
In America, almost all the money in circulation passes through financial institutions every day. But in Nigeria's "cash and carry" system, 90 percent of the currency never comes back to a bank after it's issued. What happens when two such radically different economies meet and mingle, as they have for centuries in Atlantic Africa?
The answer is a rich diversity of economic practices responsive to both local and global circumstances. In Marginal Gains, Jane I. Guyer explores and explains these often bewildering practices, including trade with coastal capitalism and across indigenous currency zones, and within the modern popular economy. Drawing on a wide range of evidence, Guyer demonstrates that the region shares a coherent, if loosely knit, commercial culture. She shows how that culture actually works in daily practice, addressing both its differing scales of value and the many settings in which it operates, from crisis conditions to ordinary household budgets. The result is a landmark study that reveals not just how popular economic systems work in Africa, but possibly elsewhere in the Third World.
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Introduction Diversity Bewilderment and the Multiplicity of African Money
Conversions Asymmetrical Transactions
SCALES AND TROPES
Calculation Number and Asymmetry
Rank People and Money
Quality Commodities and Price
PERFORMANCES AND REPERTOIRES
Volatility A Performance in Modern Nigeria
Institutions Repertoires of Financial Option
analysis analytical anthropology argued assets asymmetry Atlantic Africa bilaba brass rods budget calculation capital cedis century chapter colonial commercial commodity community banks concept Congo River consumption context conventional conversions cowries cultural currency debt deixis developed disjunctures domain dynamics Eastern Nigeria economic Engel's Law ethnographic European example fake formal Ghana Guyer historical household head Ibadan Ibibio Igbo important income institutions investment kind Lewis Henry Morgan Libinza logic manillas marginal gains means measure mediated Melanesia multi-person multiplicity naira Nigeria nineteenth nomic Onitsha open economy ordinal scale original owner payments percent petrol political Polly Hill popular economy practice quintile ranking ratio scale region repertoire scalar sector seller social spheres of exchange standard status suggest theory thresholds tion tional tokunbo trade value scales West African Western Yoruba