Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Market System Swap Shock

I was not raised in a family that would take the time to think about markets in the sense that typically think of them. This is because I grew up in rural Alaska in an area with one small store that no locals went to because it was a "rip off"(now I realize that they were just taking advantage of a more inelastic demand for certain goods). So the idea of trading goods in a market place was something I didn't really think about to often. "Living Off the Land" was the way of life and rather then trade money for food we would trade time and ammo (I know ammo costs money but I did not really buy the ammo as a child so I think this is irrelevant) for moose...yummy! In a sense this resembled more of living in a traditional market.

This leads me into thinking about the complete extreme of my situation. I mean I went to a store about once in every four-to-six months growing up. But, I still went to store and used services that allowed me to process how a modern economy works. I think it's very interesting to think about what it must be like to live in a traditional market having (that being the only market system you have ever known) and having that changed drastically to a mixed market (like that of the US). This is what many indigenous people around the world have faced.

There are four basic types of market systems: free markets, command markets, traditional, and mixed (most markets today are mixed). Looking back in history I think it is interesting to think about what it must be like to live during a time when a market system changes quickly. Typically the first thing that comes to mind is the fall of the Soviet Union. But, I would like to go back to the situation of Alaska Natives. How could have the change in market structure impacted different Native peoples and their culture? Many people talk about "culture shock" but could there be such a thing as "market shock" (which I am now renaming "Market System Swap Shock"...just because I like alliteration)? When you either move to an area with a differing market system or the market system of the area that you live in changes drastically.


  1. "Market System Swap Shock"...just because I like alliteration)"

    Are you mocking my "Pirates, Paper, and Purchasing Power" title?

    I think "market shock" has a better right to it. It does seem as if it would put a person at a disadvantage economicly who suffers from market shock. Perhaps this would explain part of the commonly cited statistic that minorities are poorer than average if there is a correlation between minorities and market shock.

  2. That is something to think about.

    BTW- about the title
    I wanted it to sound catchy ok. I didn't know you were a fan of alliteration too (I hadn't looked at your post yet...so no worries mocking isn't my style).

  3. I think there might be some genetic component that causes us to prefer posting pleasingly prepared paragraphs, or we might be culturally conditioned for creating or constructing counterpoints with congruent consonants.