OVERVIEW This chapter presents a general introduction to the exchange-configuration approach, an approach that is meant to explain how transactions come about and which underlying factors cause the immense variety of transactions that can be observed in the real world. It is a universal approach applying to transactions everywhere, even though in this book particular attention is paid to transactions occurring in developing countries and to the often significant differences between these transactions and those in developed countries. Further, this approach applies not only to market transactions but also to non-market transactions, namely intraorganizational and intra-family transactions. The exchange-configuration approach is introduced at the outset in order to acquaint the reader with the central theme of the book. Hence, the presentation of background literature and the detailed description of the main terms and concepts to be used are postponed until the next and subsequent chapters. The next section (2.2) is devoted to describing the three groups of elements of exchange which, in combination, determine the characteristics of transactions. A particular combination of exchange elements, the formation process of ensuing transactions and the characteristics of the transactions themselves form, what we call, an exchange configuration as represented graphically in Figure 2.1. Section 2.3 is concerned with the formation process of market and non-market transactions and pays special attention to the vital role actors play in the shaping of transactions. Section 2.4 is devoted to a discussion of the characteristics of transactions, expressed in terms of form and content, and how these...
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