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How connected are Chinese farmers to retail markets? New evidence of price transmission


  • Liu, Bo
  • Keyzer, Michiel
  • van den Boom, Bart
  • Zikhali, Precious


This paper examines the extent to which Chinese farmers are connected to regional agricultural markets by looking at the intensity of price transmission from retail markets to the farmgate. This intensity is indicative of the extent to which farmers might benefit from improved marketing opportunities and be exposed to price risks. We estimate the elasticity of farmgate prices to retail prices using price data for 170 markets, in 29 out of 33 provinces of China, at the detail of 12 main products and for the five-year period 1996 to 2000. In each province we find strong linkages between retail and farmgate prices with elasticities ranging between 0.6 and 1 and intensifying over time. This suggests that Chinese farmers are generally well connected to retail markets and that this connectivity has strengthened in the period considered, creating not only new opportunities but also new risks. It is also found that linkages are relatively weak in inland provinces, which is a point of concern in view of Chinese policies to create equal opportunities and equitable growth.

Suggested Citation

  • Liu, Bo & Keyzer, Michiel & van den Boom, Bart & Zikhali, Precious, 2012. "How connected are Chinese farmers to retail markets? New evidence of price transmission," China Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 23(1), pages 34-46.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:chieco:v:23:y:2012:i:1:p:34-46
    DOI: 10.1016/j.chieco.2011.07.010

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    References listed on IDEAS

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    7. Cheng, Yuk-shing, 1996. "China's grain marketing system reform in 1993-1994: empirical evidence from a rural household survey," China Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 7(2), pages 135-153.
    8. ZY. Zhou & GH. Wan & LB. Chen, 2000. "Integration of rice markets: the case of southern China," Contemporary Economic Policy, Western Economic Association International, vol. 18(1), pages 95-106, January.
    9. Awokuse, Titus O., 2007. "Market Reforms, Spatial Price Dynamics, and China's Rice Market Integration: A Causal Analysis with Directed Acyclic Graphs," Journal of Agricultural and Resource Economics, Western Agricultural Economics Association, vol. 32(01), April.
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    Cited by:

    1. repec:spr:ssefpa:v:9:y:2017:i:3:d:10.1007_s12571-015-0420-6 is not listed on IDEAS
    2. Jing You, 2014. "Dietary change, nutrient transition and food security in fast-growing China," Chapters,in: Handbook on Food, chapter 9, pages 204-245 Edward Elgar Publishing.
    3. Bargawi, H. & Newman, S.A., 2013. "From futures markets to the farm-gate," ISS Working Papers - General Series 50215, International Institute of Social Studies of Erasmus University Rotterdam (ISS), The Hague.
    4. Brockhaus, Jan & Huang, Jikun & Hu, Jiliang & Kalkuhl, Matthias & von Braun, Joachim & Yang, Guolei, 2015. "Rice, wheat, and corn supply response in China," 2015 AAEA & WAEA Joint Annual Meeting, July 26-28, San Francisco, California 205988, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association;Western Agricultural Economics Association.

    More about this item


    China; Farmgate prices; Agriculture; Price transmission;

    JEL classification:

    • Q11 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Agriculture - - - Aggregate Supply and Demand Analysis; Prices
    • Q13 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Agriculture - - - Agricultural Markets and Marketing; Cooperatives; Agribusiness
    • Q18 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Agriculture - - - Agricultural Policy; Food Policy


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