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Cocoa Market Liberalization in Retrospect


  • Christopher L. Gilbert


World cocoa production and exports are dominated by West Africa. Post-independence governments inherited and maintained marketing board or caisse de stabilisation institutions which organized and, in certain cases also monopolized, both internal and external marketing of cocoa exports. These institutions were dismantled or otherwise reformed in a move towards liberalized marketing which started in the mid nineteen eighties. The liberalization objectives were to increase competition in the marketing chain, reduce the costs associated with bureaucratic administration, to ensure that cocoa marketing ceased to be a burden on the state and on donors and to obtain a higher share of world prices for the farmers. I assess the extent to which these objectives have been realized and comment on the current policy agenda.

Suggested Citation

  • Christopher L. Gilbert, 2009. "Cocoa Market Liberalization in Retrospect," Review of Business and Economic Literature, KU Leuven, Faculty of Economics and Business, Review of Business and Economic Literature, vol. 0(3), pages 294-312.
  • Handle: RePEc:ete:revbec:20090305

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    cocoa; Africa; quality; liberalization;

    JEL classification:

    • Q17 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Agriculture - - - Agriculture in International Trade


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