- Title Pages
- Introduction The Lives behind Economic Lives
- Part One Valuation of Human Lives
- 1 Human Values and the Market
- 2 The Price and Value of Children
- 3 From Baby Farms to Baby M
- 4 The Priceless Child Revisited
- Part Two The Social Meaning of Money
- 5 The Social Meaning of Money
- 6 Fine Tuning the Zelizer View
- 7 Payments and Social Ties
- 8 Money, Power, and Sex
- Part Three Intimate Economies
- 9 Do Markets Poison Intimacy?
- 10 The Purchase of Intimacy
- 11 Kids and Commerce
- 12 Intimacy in Economic Organizations
- Part Four The Economy of Care
- 13 Caring Everywhere
- 14 Risky Exchanges
- Part Five Circuits of Commerce
- 15 Circuits within Capitalism
- 16 Circuits in Economic Life
- Part Six Appraising Economic Lives: Critiques and Syntheses
- 17 Beyond the Polemics on the Market
- 18 Pasts and Futures of Economic Sociology
- 19 Culture and Consumption
- 20 Ethics in the Economy
- Published Works of Viviana A. Zelizer on Economic Sociology
- (p.288) 14 Risky Exchanges
- Economic Lives
Viviana A. Zelizer
- Princeton University Press
This chapter considers a class of transactions referred to as “risky exchanges,” which involve significant possibility that one party or another to the exchange will damage the other party through error, incompetence, or malfeasance. Drawing on the author's work concerning baby markets and on a rapidly expanding literature concerning the economics of care, it argues that in order to explain how commercial markets for “risky exchanges” actually work we need to go beyond standard approaches to commodification. Those approaches often rely on simplistic equations of market exchange with moral degradation. Instead, we need to identify and explain multiple ways of organizing commercial exchanges. Some market arrangements do indeed have pernicious consequences, but others offer benefits to all participants.
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