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This chapter reviews the way that new state programs of distribution intersect with existing processes and practices of distribution. There is a vast and rich regional literature on the multiple livelihood practices that are utilized by low-income people across the region, and on the social relationships that sustain and enable such practices. This chapter attempts to distill the key insights of this literature and to draw some lessons from it about how to understand the place of what it terms “distributive labor” in the regional political economy. The fact that distribution and production are here (like the social and the economic) so intimately entangled requires us to bring together domains that are often kept separate.

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