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Department of Anthropology

Academic Staff

Publication details for Professor Gina Porter

Lyon, F. & Porter, G. (2009). Market institutions, trust and norms: exploring moral economies in Nigerian food systems. Cambridge Journal of Economics 33(5): 903-920.

Author(s) from Durham


Informal market institutions and small-scale traders are responsible for feeding Nigerian cities. This study analyses a range of economic relationships and institutions that have evolved in the context of inadequate formal institutions such as banks and legal contracts. Through examining both personal relationships and institutional based trust, the paper explores the role of moral norms. Trust is shown to be related to sanctions, information on other parties and a range of norms that are drawn on both calculatively and habitually. The perceived moralities of different forms of institution (such as credit systems, trader associations and commission agents) are also examined.