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Markets, Institutions and Technology: Missing Links in Livelihoods Analysis

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The benefits of livelihoods thinking and approaches are widely recognised. This article focuses on an important gap in much of the conceptualization and application of ‘livelihood approaches’— a lack of emphasis on markets and their roles in livelihood development and poverty reduction. The omission is important, as it can lead to failure to identify and act on a wider range of market, institutional and technological opportunities and constraints. An alternative conceptualisation is proposed, with markets as one particular set of institutional mechanisms for co-ordination and exchange in an economy. It is argued that more explicit attention to interactions between institutions, technology and assets in livelihood analysis may be valuable in conceptualising and managing programmes for livelihood development and poverty reduction.
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Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Imperial College London

Publication date: May 1, 2003

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