Chapter

Exploitation or Entrepreneurship?

Kaveri Gill

in Of Poverty and Plastic

Published in print August 2009 | ISBN: 9780198060864
Published online October 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780199080175 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198060864.003.0005
Exploitation or Entrepreneurship?

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This chapter takes an institutional view of the real market in plastic recycling, which is conceived of as a carefully established and maintained set of repeat interactions and relatively long-term exchange relationships between traders in vertical value chain form, up to the factory level. A descriptive account of the location of the wholesale scrap market, types and numbers of traders, and the range and prices of recyclable plastic items is followed by an examination of two key economic aspects of the value chain: the process of price determination in the market; and an assessment of income earned by different specialised functional categories and scales of traders, with price mark-ups related to volumes, activities, and costs. A comparison of these incomes with those earned by informal waste collectors and dealers lower down the value chain is undertaken to further address the question of risk and entrepreneurship, competition, supra-normal profits, and exploitation. This chapter shows the existence of a particularly active informal sector scrap market in India.

Keywords: India; informal sector; scrap market; plastic recycling; exploitation; traders; prices; income; entrepreneurship; competition

Chapter.  12229 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Economic Development and Growth

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