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Journal Articles International Sociology Year : 2023

Tracking the Cost of Living, for Whom and at What Price?

Abstract

This paper studies the production and meaning of price indicators in Madagascar, a post-colonial context characterized by a weak state, the prominence of international aid, and repeated food crises. We observe a profusion of indicators, data, and analyses related to prices. Such profusion illustrates not only different meanings of the cost of living but also fragmented economies and a fragmented mode of government in which NGOs and international organizations play a leading role. Whatever their efforts, these initiatives struggle to capture the specific features of the cost of living in a context where the subsistence economy remains hardly convertible into numbers. Our analysis confirms the close links between statistical production and modes of government. The Malagasy Consumer Price Index coexists with many disparate initiatives aimed at coping with inequalities and emergencies, reflecting a country in the throes of repeated political, economic and social crises.
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hal-04236884 , version 1 (11-10-2023)

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Florent Bédécarrats, Flore Dazet, Isabelle Guérin, Mireille Razafindrakoto, François Roubaud. Tracking the Cost of Living, for Whom and at What Price?: A Political Economy of Price Indicators in Madagascar. International Sociology, inPress, ⟨10.1177/02685809231202412⟩. ⟨hal-04236884⟩
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