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John R. Commons and the Evolution of Institutions: The Case of the Malian Cotton Sector

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  • Theriault, Veronique
  • Sterns, James A.

Abstract

Applying John R. Commons institutional economic framework, this paper analyzes the evolution of the key institutions in the Malian cotton sector starting with the CFDT contract following the country‘s Independence in 1960; the nationalization of the cotton gin company, CMDT, in 1974; the completion of a vertically integrated market structure from the mid-1980s to mid-1990s; and, finally, to the current state of the market-oriented reforms in 2010. In accordance with John R. Commons’ economic theory, institutional changes in the Malian cotton sector have led to both intended and unintended consequences impacting economic performance at the farm, gin, and State levels, which in turn, has contributed to the emergence of new limiting factors. At present, the limiting factors to desired economic performance in the Malian cotton sector are: the lack of adequate extension services, high rates of indebtedness at both farmer and cooperative levels, difficulty in farming in an integrated system due to the limited access to cereal inputs on credit, low yields, delays in payment, and discordance between farmers and their union‘s leaders. Based on these findings, policy recommendations to revitalize the Malian cotton sector are drawn.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Agricultural and Applied Economics Association in its series 2012 Annual Meeting, August 12-14, 2012, Seattle, Washington with number 124460.

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Date of creation: 2012
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Handle: RePEc:ags:aaea12:124460

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Keywords: John R. Commons; Institutions; Cotton; Mali; Institutional and Behavioral Economics; International Development;

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  1. Karlan, Dean & Gine, Xavier, 2009. "Group versus Individual Liability: Long Term Evidence from Philippine Microcredit Lending Groups," Working Papers 61, Yale University, Department of Economics.
  2. North, Douglass C, 1994. "Economic Performance through Time," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 84(3), pages 359-68, June.
  3. Louis M. Goreux & Paul R. Masson & Dhaneshwar Ghura & Ousmane Badiane, 2002. "Cotton Sector Strategies in West and Central Africa," IMF Working Papers 02/173, International Monetary Fund.
  4. Akiyama, Takamasa & Baffes, John & Larson, Donald F. & Varangis, Panos, 2003. "Commodity market reform in Africa : some recent experience," Policy Research Working Paper Series 2995, The World Bank.
  5. Stein, Howard, 1994. "Theories of institutions and economic reform in Africa," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 22(12), pages 1833-1849, December.
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