Drawing on the frameworks of moral economy and relational sociology, this article examines how small farmers have developed different dispositions toward risk calculation during the market transition in China. Using interview data and ethnographic observation from a village in northeast China, I show that monocropping farmers tend to view and manage risks differently from diversified farmers. Monocroppers, who rely on state procurement along with migrant work, have developed a personal-relationship-oriented style of risk calculation that avoids unfamiliar connections and prioritizes kinship ties in their economic lives. Diversified farmers have adopted market-cycle-oriented risk calculation due to their experience of boom-and-bust cycles. I find that individuals’ market dispositions are shaped by their lived experience of the immediate environment and have far-reaching effects on actors’ capacity to participate in markets.

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