Working Paper 178

Pecunia non olet but Does Rose Money Smell? On rose and rose oil prices and moral economy in Isparta


Lale Yalçın-Heckmann

Abteilung ‚Resilienz und Transformation in Eurasien’

Jahr der Veröffentlichung


Working Paper 178

This paper investigates rose and rose oil production in the province of Isparta with reference to the discourses on and procedures of price formation. Farmers have been engaging in rose cultivation for over a century and rose oil production is considered to be a traditional industry. The market actors for rose oil are global functioning cosmetic firms and almost all rose oil from Isparta is exported. Prices and production have been steadily increasing in the last seven years. Although prices are seen as good, there are concerns about over-production and harsh competition between the rose oil firms for buying the harvest, hence pushing up rose prices and, leading to a crash of rose oil prices on the world market. Through careful observation of payment and price formation procedures, the paper raises issues concerning the moral economy of price formation. Findings are provisional and the research is on-going, but the discourse on prices clearly suggests that value judgements are embedded in capitalist markets rather than being simply or primarily anti-market.

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