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First published online May 28, 2013

What have markets ever done for the poor?


This comment addresses the context within which markets have turned into purported panaceas to alleviate poverty and promote development. Expanding formal markets and rescuing the poor from the traps of informality is often seen as recipe to unlock the untapped energies at the base of the pyramid (BoP), turning individuals into budding entrepreneurs and aspiring consumers. But, so far we have failed to appreciate how the informal sector plays a key role in supporting the formal economy and providing a route for subsistence at the BoP.

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Luis Araujo is a Professor at the Department of Marketing, Lancaster University Management School, Lancaster, UK. His research interests and publications lie mainly in the field of business marketing and industrial networks. He is co-editor of Reconnecting Marketing to Markets (Oxford University Press, 2010). Address: Lancaster University Management School, Lancaster, UK. [email: [email protected]]

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Published In

Article first published online: May 28, 2013
Issue published: September 2013


  1. Base-of-the-pyramid (BoP)
  2. markets
  3. formal and informal economy

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© The Author(s) 2013.
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Published online: May 28, 2013
Issue published: September 2013



Luis Araujo
Lancaster University Management School, UK


Luis Araujo, Lancaster University Management School, Lancaster, UK. Email: [email protected]

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