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On trade efficiency in the Ethiopian agricultural markets

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  • Quattri, Maria A.
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    Abstract

    The availability of enabling institutions, information systems and infrastructure is a precondition to enhance agricultural markets’ efficiency, and make market actors less vulnerable to price instability. This paper investigates whether the focus on institutional and technological upgrading is enough to make Ethiopian agricultural markets more efficient. In particular, given that a requirement for exchange efficiency is the lack of unexploited mutually beneficial spatial arbitrage opportunities, we look for evidence of increasing returns to transaction size and returns to scale in transport using detailed trader surveys collected in 2001 and 2007. Whilst transport costs could be reduced by assembling loads and avoiding trans-shipments for the transporters, we find no evidence that transport and handling costs are a source of increasing returns to transaction size. Hence, the presence of many small market intermediaries is not a source of inefficiency in Ethiopia, and concentration in market intermediation is not necessary for social efficiency.

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    Bibliographic Info

    Paper provided by European Association of Agricultural Economists in its series 123rd Seminar, February 23-24, 2012, Dublin, Ireland with number 122512.

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    Date of creation: 23 Feb 2012
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    Handle: RePEc:ags:eaa123:122512

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    Keywords: Ethiopia; market efficiency; International Development; Risk and Uncertainty; O13; Q13;

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    1. Marcel Fafchamps & Eleni Gabre-Madhin & Bart Minten, 2004. "Increasing Returns and Market Efficiency in Agricultural Trade," Development and Comp Systems 0409020, EconWPA.
    2. Christine Moser & Christopher Barrett & Bart Minten, 2009. "Spatial integration at multiple scales: rice markets in Madagascar," Agricultural Economics, International Association of Agricultural Economists, vol. 40(3), pages 281-294, 05.
    3. McNew, Kevin & Fackler, Paul L., 1997. "Testing Market Equilibrium: Is Cointegration Informative?," Journal of Agricultural and Resource Economics, Western Agricultural Economics Association, vol. 22(02), December.
    4. Byerlee, Derek & Jayne, T.S. & Myers, Robert J., 2006. "Managing food price risks and instability in a liberalizing market environment: Overview and policy options," Food Policy, Elsevier, vol. 31(4), pages 275-287, August.
    5. Christopher B. Barrett, 1996. "Market Analysis Methods: Are Our Enriched Toolkits Well Suited to Enlivened Markets?," American Journal of Agricultural Economics, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 78(3), pages 825-829.
    6. Kindie Getnet & Wim Verbeke & Jacques Viaene, 2005. "Modeling spatial price transmission in the grain markets of Ethiopia with an application of ARDL approach to white teff," Agricultural Economics, International Association of Agricultural Economists, vol. 33(s3), pages 491-502, November.
    7. Christopher B. Barrett & Jau Rong Li, 2002. "Distinguishing between Equilibrium and Integration in Spatial Price Analysis," American Journal of Agricultural Economics, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 84(2), pages 292-307.
    8. Bob Baulch, 1997. "Transfer Costs, Spatial Arbitrage, and Testing for Food Market Integration," American Journal of Agricultural Economics, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 79(2), pages 477-487.
    9. Muleta, Asfaw Negassa & Myers, Robert J., 2007. "AJAE Appendix: Estimating Policy Effects on Spatial Market Efficiency: An Extension to the Parity Bounds Model," American Journal of Agricultural Economics Appendices, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 89(2), May.
    10. 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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