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Revisiting the “cotton problem”: A comparative analysis of cotton reforms in Sub-Saharan Africa

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  • Delpeuch, Claire
  • Vandeplas, Anneleen
  • Swinnen, Johan F.M.

Abstract

The cotton sector has been amongst the most regulated in West and Central Africa (WCA), and still is to a large extent, despite repeated reform recommendations by international donors. On the other hand, orthodox reforms in East and Southern Africa (ESA) have not always yielded the expected results. This paper uses a stylized contracting model to investigate the link between market structure and equity and efficiency in sub-Saharan cotton sectors and analyze the potential consequences of orthodox reforms in WCA. We argue that the level of the world price and of government intervention, the degree of post-reform competition, as well as the degree of parastatal inefficiency, all contribute to making reforms less attractive (but not less pressing) to farmers and governments in WCA today, as compared to ESA in the 1990s. We illustrate our arguments with empirical observations on the performance of cotton sectors across sub-Saharan Africa.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Agricultural Economics Society in its series 84th Annual Conference, March 29-31, 2010, Edinburgh, Scotland with number 91806.

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Date of creation: 29 Mar 2010
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Handle: RePEc:ags:aesc10:91806

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Keywords: Sub-Saharan Africa; cotton reforms; self-enforcing contracts; International Development; Q12; L33; O12;

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  1. repec:hal:wpaper:hal-00866412 is not listed on IDEAS
  2. repec:hal:ciredw:hal-00866412 is not listed on IDEAS
  3. Claire Delpeuch & Antoine Leblois, 2013. "Sub-Saharan African Cotton Policies in Retrospect," Development Policy Review, Overseas Development Institute, vol. 31(5), pages 617-642, 09.
  4. Delpeuch, Claire, 2011. "African cotton markets at crossroads : will the price spike turn into a new kick-start ?," Policy Research Working Paper Series 5847, The World Bank.

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