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The Impact of Connectivity on Market Interlinkages; Evidence from Rural Punjab

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  • Mahvish Shami

    ()
    (Institute of Food and Resource Economics, University of Copenhagen)

Abstract

Up to the late 1980s it was generally accepted that many of the key issues in agrarian development could not be studied without an understanding that rural markets were interlinked, causing equilibria to be jointly determined. In recent years, however, theory on market interlinkages has disappeared from mainstream agrarian development literature. Based on a household-level survey conducted in rural Pakistan, this paper seeks to re-introduce the importance of interlinkages and to illustrate the exploitative potential this market structure can have for poor peasants, particularly in unequal isolated villages where the landlord is essentially a monopolist/monopsonist. A proposed solution is then to connect villages to the external economy so as to increase peasants’ alternative options. Making use of a natural experiment found in the construction of a motorway, the study finds that while connectivity does not break interlinkages completely - as they do have the functional effect of lowering transaction costs - it does significantly alter the nature of the relationship between landlords and the rural poor in favour of the latter, and in particular to the advantage of the socially lower classes.

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File URL: http://okonomi.foi.dk/workingpapers/WPpdf/WP2010/WP_2010_12_interlinked_markets_Punjab.pdf
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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by University of Copenhagen, Department of Food and Resource Economics in its series IFRO Working Paper with number 2010/12.

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Length: 53 pages
Date of creation: Sep 2010
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:foi:wpaper:2010_12

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Keywords: Interlinked markets; Rural road networks; Pakistan;

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  1. Naqvi, Nadeem & Wemhoner, Frederick, 1995. "Power, coercion, and the games landlords play," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 47(2), pages 191-205, August.
  2. Swaminathan, Madhura, 1991. "Segmentation, Collateral Undervaluation, and the Rate of Interest in Agrarian Credit Markets: Some Evidence from Two Villages in South India," Cambridge Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 15(2), pages 161-78, June.
  3. Hatlebakk, M., 2000. "A New and Robust Subgame Perfect Equilibrium in a Model of Triadic Power Relations," Norway; Department of Economics, University of Bergen 2400, Department of Economics, University of Bergen.
  4. Akerlof, George A, 1976. "The Economics of Caste and of the Rat Race and Other Woeful Tales," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 90(4), pages 599-617, November.
  5. Bell, Clive & Srinivasan, T N, 1989. "Interlinked Transactions in Rural Markets: An Empirical Study of Andhra Pradesh, Bihar and Punjab," Oxford Bulletin of Economics and Statistics, Department of Economics, University of Oxford, vol. 51(1), pages 73-83, February.
  6. Anita Gill, 2006. "Interlinked Agrarian Credit Markets in a Developing Economy: A Case Study of Indian Punjab," Working Papers id:760, eSocialSciences.
  7. Basu, Kaushik, 1983. "The Emergence of Isolation and Interlinkage in Rural Markets," Oxford Economic Papers, Oxford University Press, vol. 35(2), pages 262-80, July.
  8. Basu, Kaushik, 1986. "One Kind of Power," Oxford Economic Papers, Oxford University Press, vol. 38(2), pages 259-82, July.
  9. Aleem, Irfan, 1990. "Imperfect Information, Screening, and the Costs of Informal Lending: A Study of a Rural Credit Market in Pakistan," World Bank Economic Review, World Bank Group, vol. 4(3), pages 329-49, September.
  10. Bardhan, Pranab K, 1980. "Interlocking Factor Markets and Agrarian Development: A Review of Issues," Oxford Economic Papers, Oxford University Press, vol. 32(1), pages 82-98, March.
  11. Bell, Clive, 1988. "Credit markets and interlinked transactions," Handbook of Development Economics, in: Hollis Chenery & T.N. Srinivasan (ed.), Handbook of Development Economics, edition 1, volume 1, chapter 16, pages 763-830 Elsevier.
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