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Middlemen, Non-Profits, and Poverty

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  • Chau, Nancy H.
  • Goto, Hideaki
  • Kanbur, Ravi

Abstract

In many markets in developing countries, especially in remote areas, middlemen are thought to earn excessive profits. Non-profits come in to counter what is seen as middlemen's market power, and rich country consumers pay a "fair-trade" premium for products marketed by such non-profits. This paper provides answers to the following five questions. How exactly do middlemen and non-profits divide up the market? How do the price mark up and price pass-through differ between middleman and non-profits? What is the impact of non-profits entry on the wellbeing of the poor? Should the government subsidize the entry of non-profits, or the entry of middlemen? Should wealthy consumers in the North pay a premium for fair trade products, or should they support fair trade non-profits directly?

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Cornell University, Department of Applied Economics and Management in its series Working Papers with number 55931.

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Date of creation: 16 Aug 2009
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Handle: RePEc:ags:cudawp:55931

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Keywords: Middlemen; Non-profits; Poverty; Market Access; Food Security and Poverty; International Development; Productivity Analysis; F15; I32; L3;

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  1. Biglaiser, Gary & Friedman, James W., 1994. "Middlemen as guarantors of quality," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 12(4), pages 509-531, December.
  2. L. Alan Winters & Neil McCulloch & Andrew McKay, 2004. "Trade Liberalization and Poverty: The Evidence So Far," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 42(1), pages 72-115, March.
  3. C. Arndt & H. T. Jensen & S. Robinson & F. Tarp, 2000. "Marketing Margins and Agricultural Technology in Mozambique," Journal of Development Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 37(1), pages 121-137.
  4. Foster, James & Greer, Joel & Thorbecke, Erik, 1984. "A Class of Decomposable Poverty Measures," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 52(3), pages 761-66, May.
  5. Nicita, Alessandro, 2004. "Who benefited from trade liberalization in Mexico? Measuring the effects on household welfare," Policy Research Working Paper Series 3265, The World Bank.
  6. Horn Welch, Karen & McMillan, Margaret & Rodrik, Dani, 2002. "When Economic Reform Goes Wrong: Cashews in Mozambique," CEPR Discussion Papers 3519, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  7. Besley, Timothy J & Kanbur, S M Ravi, 1988. "Food Subsidies and Poverty Alleviation," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 98(392), pages 701-19, September.
  8. Richard G. Harris & Elmer G. Wiens, 1980. "Government Enterprise: An Instrument for the Internal Regulation of Industry," Canadian Journal of Economics, Canadian Economics Association, vol. 13(1), pages 125-32, February.
  9. Gersovitz, Mark, 1989. "Transportation, State Marketing, and the Taxation of the Agricultural Hinterland," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 97(5), pages 1113-37, October.
  10. Cremer, Helmuth & Marchand, Maurice & Thisse, Jacques-Francois, 1991. "Mixed oligopoly with differentiated products," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 9(1), pages 43-53, March.
  11. Kling, Catherine L. & Sexton, Richard & Carman, Hoy, 1991. "Market Integration, Efficiency of Arbitrage, and Imperfect Competition: Methodology and Application to U.S. Celery," Staff General Research Papers 1609, Iowa State University, Department of Economics.
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Cited by:
  1. Pol Antràs & Arnaud Costinot, 2010. "Intermediated Trade," NBER Working Papers 15750, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. LEFÈVRE, Mélanie & THARAKAN, Joe & ,, 2013. "Intermediaries, transport costs and interlinked transactions," CORE Discussion Papers 2013055, Université catholique de Louvain, Center for Operations Research and Econometrics (CORE).

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