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Revisiting the "cotton problem": A comparative analysis of cotton reforms in sub-Saharan Africa

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  • Claire Delpeuch
  • Anneleen Vandeplas
  • Johan F.M.Swinnen

Abstract

The cotton sector has been amongst the most regulated in Africa, and still is to a large extent in West and Central Africa (WCA), despite repeated reform recommendations by international donors. On the other hand, orthodox reforms in East and Southern Africa (ESA) have not always yielded the expected results. This paper uses a stylised contracting model to investigate the link between market structure and equity and efficiency in sub-Saharan cotton sectors; explain the outcomes of reforms in ESA; and analyze the potential consequences of orthodox reforms in WCA. We argue that the level of the world price and of government intervention, the nature of pre-reform institutional organisation, as well as the degree of parastatal inefficiency, all contribute to making reforms less attractive to farmers and governments in WCA today, as compared to ESA in the 1990s.We illustrate our arguments with empirical observations on the performance of cotton sectors across sub-Saharan Africa.

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Paper provided by LICOS - Centre for Institutions and Economic Performance, KU Leuven in its series LICOS Discussion Papers with number 29011.

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Date of creation: 2011
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Handle: RePEc:lic:licosd:29011

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Keywords: Sub-Saharan Africa; cotton reforms; self-enforcing contracts;

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Cited by:
  1. repec:hal:wpaper:hal-00866412 is not listed on IDEAS
  2. Delpeuch, Claire & Leblois, Antoine, 2010. "Sub-Saharan African Cotton Policies in Retrospect," 2010 AAAE Third Conference/AEASA 48th Conference, September 19-23, 2010, Cape Town, South Africa 96174, African Association of Agricultural Economists (AAAE) & Agricultural Economics Association of South Africa (AEASA).
  3. Delpeuch, Claire, 2011. "African cotton markets at crossroads : will the price spike turn into a new kick-start ?," Policy Research Working Paper Series 5847, The World Bank.

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