Active and passive trading relations

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Anonymous competitive markets are often contrasted with relational exchange. Much actual trade falls between the two: trading is not anonymous, for the participants know each other, but they have only a weak bond. The current paper examines this middle ground and discusses the institutions behind relational trading. It distinguishes active relations, as envisaged by the relational exchange literature, from passive ones associated with brand loyalty and relationship marketing. What we describe as a market in everyday language is seldom anonymous and includes diverse seller-buyer links that merit closer attention from economists.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)98-114
Number of pages17
JournalJournal of Economic Issues
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 7 Mar 2019

Bibliographical note

© 2019, Journal of Economic Issues /Association for Evolutionary Economics. This is an author-produced version of the published paper. Uploaded with permission of the publisher/copyright holder. Further copying may not be permitted; contact the publisher for details


  • markets
  • relational exchange
  • loyalty
  • trust
  • competition

Cite this