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Evaluating the Impact on Market Performance of Investments in Market Information Systems: Methodological Challenges

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  • Staatz, John M.
  • Kizito, Andrew M.
  • Weber, Michael T.
  • Dembele, Niama Nango

Abstract

Evaluating the impact on market performance of investments in agricultural market information systems (MIS) face several methodological challenges. These fall into two broad categories: (a) defining the dimensions of market performance to measure (which is a function of whom the MIS is designed to serve) and identifying reliable indicators of those performance dimensions, and (b) identifying the causal effects of the MIS. The determination of causal effects in turn requires establishing a credible baseline, measuring “treatment effects” (i.e., the effects on economic behavior of receiving improved information from an MIS), dealing with problems of endogenous placement of treatment, and interpreting the validity of stakeholders’ statements and governments’ revealed preferences regarding the utility of MIS. Many of these challenges arise because improved market information can affect the welfare of market actors through improved market polices and increased competition even if those actors do not have direct access to that information. The paper discusses these challenges and identifies approaches that may be useful in developing a “convergence of evidence” concerning whether investment in a given MIS is socially worthwhile.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Michigan State University, Department of Agricultural, Food, and Resource Economics in its series Staff Papers with number 108184.

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Date of creation: Jun 2011
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Handle: RePEc:ags:midasp:108184

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Related research

Keywords: market information services; impact assessment; market transparency; food policies; Agricultural and Food Policy; Food Security and Poverty; International Development; Marketing; Research and Development/Tech Change/Emerging Technologies; Research Methods/ Statistical Methods; C81; D80; H43; N57; 013; Q13;

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References

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  1. Jenny Aker, 2008. "Does Digital Divide or Provide? The Impact of Cell Phones on Grain Markets in Niger," Working Papers 154, Center for Global Development.
  2. Jenny Aker and Isaac M. Mbiti, 2010. "Mobile Phones and Economic Development in Africa," Working Papers 211, Center for Global Development.
  3. Robert Jensen, 2007. "The Digital Provide: Information (Technology), Market Performance, and Welfare in the South Indian Fisheries Sector," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 122(3), pages 879-924, 08.
  4. 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.
  5. Shahidur Rashid, 2004. "Spatial Integration of Maize Markets in Post-liberalised Uganda," Journal of African Economies, Centre for the Study of African Economies (CSAE), vol. 13(1), pages 102-133, March.
  6. 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.
  7. Kizito, Andrew M., 2009. "Estimating the Benefits from Improved Market Information," Graduate Research Masters Degree Plan B Papers 48844, Michigan State University, Department of Agricultural, Food, and Resource Economics.
  8. Rashid, Shahidur & Gulati, Ashok & Cummings, Ralph Jr., 2008. "From parastatals to private trade: Lessons from Asian agriculture," Issue briefs 50, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).
  9. Azzam, Azzeddine M. & Schroeter, John R., 1995. "The Tradeoff Between Oligopsony Power and Cost Efficiency in Horizontal Consolidation: An Example from Beef Packing," Staff General Research Papers 5062, Iowa State University, Department of Economics.
  10. Goyal, Aparajita, 2010. "Information, direct access to farmers, andrural market performance in central India," Policy Research Working Paper Series 5315, The World Bank.
  11. Jenny C. Aker & Isaac M. Mbiti, 2010. "Mobile Phones and Economic Development in Africa," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 24(3), pages 207-32, Summer.
  12. George J. Stigler, 1961. "The Economics of Information," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 69, pages 213.
  13. Robert T. Jensen, 2010. "Information, efficiency, and welfare in agricultural markets," Agricultural Economics, International Association of Agricultural Economists, vol. 41(s1), pages 203-216, November.
  14. Jonathan Donner & Marcela X. Escobari, 2010. "A review of evidence on mobile use by micro and small enterprises in developing countries," Journal of International Development, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 22(5), pages 641-658.
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Cited by:
  1. Perakis, Sonja Melissa, 2012. "“Changing Spatial Maize Price Relationships in West Africa”," 2012 Annual Meeting, August 12-14, 2012, Seattle, Washington 124910, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association.
  2. Kizito, Andrew M. & Donovan, Cynthia & Staatz, John M., 2012. "Impact of Agricultural Market Information Systems Activities on Market Performance in Mozambique: Mozambique Country Report," Food Security International Development Working Papers 169572, Michigan State University, Department of Agricultural, Food, and Resource Economics.
  3. repec:ags:mididp:152396 is not listed on IDEAS

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