Farm Input Use in a Context of Liquidity Constraints and Contract Unenforceability
The African cash crop sector has witnessed widespread liberalisation reforms aimed at strengthening price incentives to farmers. However, some areas are confronted with a decline in input use. We have recourse to a two-stage Cournot game to account for the issue. In a context of credit rationing and imperfect contract enforceability, competition has the effect of tightening the input availability constraint while increasing the shadow value of credit. First, contrary to expectations, the impact of an extension of access to farm credit on aggregate input use, efficiency and peasants' income is shown to be ambiguous. Intuitively, relaxing the liquidity constraint entails a higher price elasticity of supply that results in a reduction of traders' profit margin. As a consequence, traders' incentives to contribute to input availability are weakened. The effects of subsidising inputs are also analysed. Second, normative insights are drawn regarding second best combinations of imperfect credit and output markets. Finally, the issue and consequences of contract unenforceability are discussed. Copyright 2009 The author 2008. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the Centre for the Study of African Economies. All rights reserved. For permissions, please email: firstname.lastname@example.org, Oxford University Press.
Volume (Year): 18 (2009)
Issue (Month): 3 (June)
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