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Capitalism without Capital: Capital Conversion and Market Making in Rural China

Yun Ai
China Quarterly

Situated in an agricultural township in northern China, this study examines the rise of produce markets in rural China in the face of a chronic shortage of financial capital. Drawing on theoretical ideas in economic sociology, we explicate the mechanisms of gift exchange and credit taking and the conditions under which these mechanisms are used to mobilize financial capital and to facilitate market transactions in the absence of financial capital. We illustrate these issues and ideas using our fieldwork research on different produce markets and entrepreneurial activities.

本文分析讨论了在金融资本短缺条件下中国农产品市场的兴起。我们从经济社会学的理论思路出发, 提出了动员金融资本和促就市场交易的两个机制 — “礼物互惠”和 “强征性信用”, 以及这些机制发生作用的条件。文章报告了中国北方一个农业镇上不同农产品市场及其企业家活动的田野研究, 用以阐述本文提出的分析概念和理论思路。