Editor-in-Chief: Madhu Viswanathan, Loyola Marymount University, and Emeritus, University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, USA
Subsistence Marketplaces is an interdisciplinary, inter-sector (research-education-practice including business, social, and governmental sectors), international journal focused on research, education, and practice that takes a bottom-up approach to studying the broad range of low-income consumers, entrepreneurs, communities and marketplaces around the world. It is coupled with a knowledge-practice portal that will evolve in the coming months.

Our objectives are as follow:

1. To provide a forum for research, education, and practice at the intersection of a wide-range of low-income contexts and marketplaces.

2. To highlight work on subsistence marketplaces that is grounded at the micro-level or reflects ground reality and takes a bottom-up orientation.

3. To provide an ecosystem through the entire research and intervention value cycle from formulation to completion and translation to practice.

By subsistence, we refer to the wide range of low-income from extreme poverty to those at the cusp between low and lower-middle income, essentially people and communities barely meeting basic conditions for living.

We use the term “marketplaces” in its broadest and most diverse sense, meaning where goods, services, information, and ideas are exchanged, versus a meaning that restricts the focus to a physical marketplace. Such marketplaces could cover different domains of subsistence, such as health, nutrition, education, and livelihood, different geographies, and different modes, such as physical and virtual.

We emphasize an approach that begins from a bottom-up perspective of the micro-level of marketplaces, consumers and entrepreneurs, rather than the meso or macro levels. Thus, the journal welcomes a broad range of work at different units of analysis from individual to community to organization and society. Unique though will be an emphasis on grounding in the circumstances at different units of analysis. Thus, work may focus on any level of aggregation as long as it draws from grounded reality. In other words, perspectives that remain at a high altitude do not fit the journal whereas those that have connection to reality at the ground level conceptually and/or empirically fit well. We invite authors to write to the editor if there is any doubt as to fit as our goal is to be broad without diluting the unique focus.

Also unique will be an emphasis on practice with feedback on proposed studies/interventions, and a focus on translating findings to practice with specificity (e.g., such as through proposing and/or piloting specific initiatives for practice), rather than through implications that remain at a broad or generic level. Thus, implications of the work for practice will be emphasized heavily. The supporting web portal will provide a bridge between research, education and practice.

Recent Content


Learning from subsistence marketplaces and beyond: A cross-sectoral comparison in Benin
Paul Ingenbleek, Souleimane A. Adekambi, and Hans C.M. van Trijp