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Transaction costs, information technologies, and the choice of marketplace amongst farmers in northern Ghana

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  • Zanello, Giacomo
  • Shankar, Bhavani
  • Srinivasan, Chittur S.

Abstract

Relatively little evidence is available on the importance of information and the role of Information Communication Technologies (mobiles and radios) in the key aspects of marketing behaviours of developing country farmers. We included the concept of proportional and fixed transactions costs within a household framework to investigate market participation decisions of farm households with a marketable surplus of food crops. Differently to previous studies, we also modelled the behaviour of farm gale buyers. We use a novel dataset from Ghanaian farmers, which contains detailed information fro individual selling transaction that is seldom available in other household surveys. We found that larger transactions occur at the farmgale, where farmgale buyers are prepared to pay a premium price because of lower fixed transaction costs they incur. The knowledge of market information has a contrasting effect on the decision of the marketplace. In some cases, farmers use the information on prices in specific marketplaces to travel farther, in other cases they sell their commodity in closer market where they may strenghening their bargaining power. Finally we only found weak evidence on the impact of using mobile phones in reducing searching costs and attract farm gate buyers.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Agricultural Economics Society in its series 86th Annual Conference, April 16-18, 2012, Warwick University, Coventry, UK with number 134740.

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Date of creation: Apr 2012
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Handle: RePEc:ags:aesc12:134740

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Keywords: market behaviour; transaction costs; information technologies; Research and Development/Tech Change/Emerging Technologies; D82; D83; D84; O12; 055;

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  1. Vakis, Renos & Sadoulet, Elisabeth & de Janvry, Alain, 2003. "Measuring Transactions Costs from Observed Behavior: Market Choices in Peru," Department of Agricultural & Resource Economics, UC Berkeley, Working Paper Series qt7p81h66q, Department of Agricultural & Resource Economics, UC Berkeley.
  2. Forhad Shilpi & Dina Umali-Deininger, 2008. "Market facilities and agricultural marketing: evidence from Tamil Nadu, India," Agricultural Economics, International Association of Agricultural Economists, vol. 39(3), pages 281-294, November.
  3. de Janvry, Alain & Fafchamps, Marcel & Sadoulet, Elisabeth, 1991. "Peasant Household Behaviour with Missing Markets: Some Paradoxes Explained," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 101(409), pages 1400-417, November.
  4. Marcel Fafchamps & Ruth Vargas Hill, 2005. "Selling at the Farmgate or Traveling to Market," American Journal of Agricultural Economics, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 87(3), pages 717-734.
  5. Nigel Key & Elisabeth Sadoulet & Alain De Janvry, 2000. "Transactions Costs and Agricultural Household Supply Response," American Journal of Agricultural Economics, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 82(2), pages 245-259.
  6. Jenny C. Aker, 2010. "Information from Markets Near and Far: Mobile Phones and Agricultural Markets in Niger," American Economic Journal: Applied Economics, American Economic Association, vol. 2(3), pages 46-59, July.
  7. Aparajita Goyal, 2010. "Information, Direct Access to Farmers, and Rural Market Performance in Central India," American Economic Journal: Applied Economics, American Economic Association, vol. 2(3), pages 22-45, July.
  8. Renkow, Mitch & Hallstrom, Daniel G. & Karanja, Daniel D., 2004. "Rural infrastructure, transactions costs and market participation in Kenya," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 73(1), pages 349-367, February.
  9. Jakob Svensson & David Yanagizawa, 2009. "Getting Prices Right: The Impact of the Market Information Service in Uganda," Journal of the European Economic Association, MIT Press, vol. 7(2-3), pages 435-445, 04-05.
  10. Marcel Fafchamps, 2004. "Market Institutions in Sub-Saharan Africa: Theory and Evidence," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262062364, December.
  11. Bellemare, Marc F. & Barrett, Christopher B., 2005. "An Ordered Tobit Model of Market Participation: Evidence from Kenya and Ethiopia," Working Papers 14748, Cornell University, Department of Applied Economics and Management.
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