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Mediating the GlobalExpatria's Forms and Consequences in Kathmandu$
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Heather Hindman

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780804786515

Published to Stanford Scholarship Online: January 2014

DOI: 10.11126/stanford/9780804786515.001.0001

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Market Basket Economics

Market Basket Economics

The Practice of Paperwork and Shopping Like an Expatriate

(p.85) 3 Market Basket Economics
Mediating the Global

Heather Hindman

Stanford University Press

Exactly how overseas workers should be treated and compensated has been contested, with some encouraging workers to “go native” while others adopt the “as if at home” strategy. This chapter explores the calculations entailed in determining how to compensate expatriate workers in Nepal for their work and their displacement. Given Nepal's economic disparity from the home nations of many technical experts, a “balance sheet” approach has been common, allowing families to purchase a familiar market basket of goods, even while in Kathmandu. There is a great deal of labor that goes into replicating home life abroad, in terms of both calculating those costs and obtaining the goods themselves. This labor is usually displaced back on the workers and their families. In this chapter, one sees how expatriates work within and against the market basket logics that are supposed to compensate them for life away from home.

Keywords:   Cost of Living Allowance, Foreign Service, Quantification, Shopping, Compensation, Market Basket

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