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of and familiarity with the market, whereas the latter must change from participating in an economy based essentially on local self-sufficiency to one based on exchange mediated through the market. While the Nigerian or Malayan makes this transition, he also learns how he can improve his economic status and prospects by making use of fluctuations in price, by speculation, by adaptation of his resources to the changing conditions offered him on the market. In other words, the increasing involvement of the cash crop farmer in the market mechanism tends to make him an "entrepreneur."

This conclusion should not be interpreted as solving all problems of economic development. To be sure, some have regarded the growth of an entrepreneurial class as the main stimulus to economic growth. But the cash crop farmer is an entrepreneur only in a very qualified sense; although he may take the market as a guide in his decisions about production, he is by no means fully committed to becoming a nascent capitalist. To begin with, he can always fall back on subsistence farming if some vagary of the market should make his cash crop unsalable, or salable only at a great loss. Second, he remains a small man, and probably his savings are rarely large enough to allow him to expand his activities on any sizable scale. Finally, he remains an agriculturalist, and the more he prospers as a cash crop farmer, the less incentive he has to become a wage earner or even an industrialist. This means that, although the development of a market for cash crops may alter substantially the conditions of resource allocation and production in agriculture, it does not contribute directly to the commitment of industrial workers. It is not denied that such a situation may create a market orientation on the part of many persons of small means, and may make their acceptance of an industrial way of life easier if for some reason farming seems to hold no future for them. There is some suggestion that this process has taken place in Puerto Rico, if this conclusion may be read into Gregory's paper. But the actual process by which the widespread availability of a market for cash crops contributes to the formation of an industrial proletariat has been too little explored to permit any reasonably firm statements about it.

Some writers have implied that the development of a market orientation leads almost automatically to the kinds of social behavior characteristic of the more highly developed economies of Western Europe. One cannot agree with this proposition without much more evidence than is available. It is granted that increasing numbers of marketoriented individuals in a society may provide a strong stimulus to

economic growth, but whether strong enough to overcome the impeding factors in the social structure and perhaps in the ecology of a society is difficult to say. At this stage of our knowledge we can say only that although the growth of markets for cash crops or the products of artisans may create conditions favorable to economic growth, further examination of kinship relations, the processes of urban growth, and actual and prospective social structures is needed before we can generalize further. Only then may we be able to say whether the process of commitment by which the peasant is divorced from his land and forced to find a way of subsisting in the city and the alternative process by which he is induced to use his land more rationally and efficiently mutually reinforce or contradict one another.


The main contents of this paper may be summarized in the following propositions:

1. The general level of economic advancement is highly correlated with the ubiquity of markets as institutions mediating between classes of persons in the social division of labor.

2. From a purely economic point of view, and on the assumption that tastes, the state of technology, and the distribution of income are given, the market mechanism presents the most efficient means of allocation of resources.

3. From an institutional point of view, the importance of markets lies not in their efficiency in allocation of resources, but in the manner and extent of use of the market as against other institutions mediating the exchange of goods and services.

4. In many nonindustrial societies numerous exchanges take place without the use of a market mechanism, and many commodities and usually all service transactions are excluded from market exchange.

5. Thus it is possible to establish a pair of polar types of exchange systems. At one pole is a social system in which virtually everything is subject to transfer on a market; at the other pole is a social system in which, ideally, market transactions are restricted to foreign imports or other "exotic" and rarely consumed objects, and in which services are not subject to market exchange at all.

6. One of the most significant features of an expanding economy is the development of a market for labor. Breadth and openness of the labor market indicate a high level of economic advancement; such a

labor market is also instrumental in the process of commitment of nonindustrial workers to an industrial way of life.

7. Among the social institutions that positively or negatively affect the growth of a labor market are the growth of urban centers, the distribution of status positions that determine differential access to the labor market, and the forms of family or kinship organization.

8. Whereas the growth of urbanism affects the development of labor markets, and hence the commitment process, positively in virtually all cases, differential access to the labor market leads to noncompeting groups on the supply side of labor and manifold other features of market imperfection, and so may often have an adverse effect on commitment.

9. Although it is commonly held that the development of industrialism and the growth of a labor market tend to destroy the extended family, there is some evidence that this process has not yet taken place in several developing economies. The interrelations between forms of familial organization and commitment to an industrial way of life are unclear and await further research.

10. In certain societies, notably those undergoing an expansionist pattern of growth, the market for cash crops has been one of the primary mechanisms supporting economic development. Cash crops and the markets on which they are traded have also been developed, however, in societies with an intrinsic pattern of growth.

11. The influence of the gradual evolution of cash crops on the process of commitment to industrialization is unclear. On the one hand, cash crops tend to reinforce the attachment to agriculture; on the other, they tend to develop a rationalistic profit orientation that may support the commitment process.


Walter Elkan Lloyd A. Fallers

Types of economic and social organization that are generally referred to as Western are spreading throughout the world. To call them Western is probably a mistake because they have more to do with time than place; but the label, if treated as such and not as a definition, is convenient.

Conspicuous aspects of Western economic organization are the existence and use of wages and of wage laborers. The two are distinct, of course. Wages, which are regular payments for the performance of certain kinds of service, are an economic category comparable with profits and rent, which are payments for other kinds of services. Wage laborers, or proletarians, are a sociological rather than an economic category. They are people whose lives and livelihoods closely depend on wages, generally from birth to death. They may have other sources of income but these are subsidiary or supplementary to wages.


In this paper we examine the place that wages and wage laborers have come to occupy in the economy and social structure of the East African territory of Uganda during the less than 100 years since it came into contact with the West. We first glance briefly at the pattern of development of wage labor in England, and then note some important differences between that country in the eighteenth century and Uganda today as contexts. In Uganda, circumstances have made possible a certain type of industrial development, but it has not been accompanied by a distinct urban industrial status system of the sort that has commonly accompanied industrial development in the West. Instead, the Uganda labor force has consisted of persons who have maintained fundamental ties with rural agricultural society, participating only partially and sporadically in urban wage labor. The result, we argue, is a relatively stable compromise. Although the situation no doubt will permit considerable quantitative expansion in a certain type of industry, we see no reason

to expect an early successful expansion into other types that require a more fully committed labor force.

Town Laborers in England

In England wage laborers were a minority of the population before the eighteenth century, and ever since have been a majority. Wages, however, have affected the majority since long before that century. Before then men commonly spent part of their time in working for a wage, but only a minority were dependent on wages throughout their lives. Wage labor itself was often quite different from the kinds of work we now tend to associate with that term. The most common form of wage work was done at home; employers sent jobs to their employees, lent or leased them the necessary tools, and supplied them with raw materials. When the product was done, the employer collected it and paid for it by the piece. This kind of wage work is now uncommon in the West, but persists in a few minor trades.

The late eighteenth century in England saw another important change: the growth of those industrial towns that owed their origins to industry. Industrial towns were not new, and many of them did not owe their origins to industry. It grew up in them because they were the centers of trade. What was new in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries was the great growth of towns that did owe their origins to industry and that came to be entirely divorced from the countryside. Town and country previously had shared a common life to some extent, and this had been perpetuated by a good deal of two-way mobility. The emergence of wage laborers into a majority position and the development of a marked wage differential between town and country made the towns decidedly more attractive than the country. The laborers came to be a majority as a result of both agrarian and industrial changes. The agrarian changes tended to reduce mobility between the status of wage laborer and that of farmer; those who had hitherto moved freely and frequently between the two became simply wage laborers. Moreover, farms were becoming larger (except during the Napoleonic Wars) so that the smallest farmers could no longer compete with those who were using more capital and consequently producing at lower cost. Many of the small farmers emigrated, some became industrial entrepreneurs, and others took up wage labor.

Since wages in the towns were higher than in the countryside and since there were more opportunities for employment in the towns, a movement in that direction resulted. It was a movement of wage labor

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