Price realization for electronic waste (e-waste) in Accra, Ghana

Akese, Grace Abena (2014) Price realization for electronic waste (e-waste) in Accra, Ghana. Masters thesis, Memorial University of Newfoundland.

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The price realization literature suggests that a price is made through a process of actualization that is different from that theorized by neoclassical economics in supposed universal laws such as demand and supply. Empirical research demonstrating processes of price realization have focused on standardized (e.g., cotton) and financial (e.g., stocks, bonds) commodities. This begs the question: how are prices realized when the commodity traded is something other than a standard commodity? That is, when the commodity traded, such as electronic waste (e-waste), lacks a system of standardization practices that contribute to something like a ‘world price’ (e.g., there is no ‘world price’ for discarded computer monitors). Following the practices of trading e-waste in Accra, Ghana, the thesis answers this question. It documents how prices are realized when e-waste is the commodity traded. In doing so, this thesis draws three key lessons for the price realization literature. First, it demonstrates that in the processes of price realization for e-waste goods are qualified as both wholes and in pieces simultaneously, and this questions the assumption of qualifying goods as wholes evident in the extant literature. Second, the findings from this thesis raises questions about the notion of price realization itself by flagging practices of exchange for e-waste such as bartering, gleaning and leasing. Although discussed in other disciplines, the price realization literature has not looked at price making within the exchange relations of bartering, gleaning and leasing. Thus, in flagging these practices, the thesis points the price realization literature to other economics activities that lead to non-monetary realization of price. Finally, the price realization literature tells us that the processes of price realization are performed as relations of power in themselves. With the example of realizing prices for e-waste, the current thesis contributes to this theorization by demonstrating different modalities of power relations in play in verifiable instances of price realization.

Item Type: Thesis (Masters)
Item ID: 8112
Additional Information: Includes bibliographical references (pages 132-144).
Department(s): Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of > Geography
Date: October 2014
Date Type: Submission
Geographic Location: Accra (Ghana)
Library of Congress Subject Heading: Electronic waste--Prices--Ghana--Accra; Electronic waste--Recycling--Ghana--Accra; Electronic waste--Ghana--Accra--Economic aspects

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