In This Review

Fathers Work For Their Sons
Fathers Work For Their Sons
By Sara S. Berry
University of California Press, 1985, 225 pp

This study of how people make a living and provide for the future in two Yoruba communities brilliantly shows how plausible economic strategies in the prevailing context work to constrain rather than expand productivity. Because the state is the primary fount of resources, would-be accumulators invest most of their energy and wherewithal in building networks of influence providing access to the state rather than in productive enterprise. Similarly, prosperity in any business depends largely on social relationships whose cultivation siphons off resources from the expansion of productive capacity. Berry concludes bleakly that "competition produces uncertainty, tension and turmoil" rather than efficiency and growth.