IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/a/taf/jdevst/v47y2011i2p207-230.html
   My bibliography  Save this article

The Relevance of a Rules-based Maize Marketing Policy: An Experimental Case Study of Zambia

Author

Listed:
  • Klaus Abbink
  • Thomas Jayne
  • Lars Moller

Abstract

Strategic interaction between public and private actors is increasingly recognised as an important determinant of agricultural market performance in Africa and elsewhere. Trust and consultation tends to positively affect private activity while uncertainty of government behaviour impedes it. This paper reports on a laboratory experiment based on a stylised model of the Zambian maize market. The experiment facilitates a comparison between discretionary interventionism and a rules-based policy in which the government pre-commits itself to a future course of action. A simple precommitment rule can, in theory, overcome the prevailing strategic dilemma by encouraging private sector participation. Although this result is also borne out in the economic experiment, the improvement in private sector activity is surprisingly small and not statistically significant due to irrationally cautious choices by experimental governments. Encouragingly, a rules-based policy promotes a much more stable market outcome thereby substantially reducing the risk of severe food shortages. These results underscore the importance of predictable and transparent rules for the state's involvement in agricultural markets.

Suggested Citation

  • Klaus Abbink & Thomas Jayne & Lars Moller, 2011. "The Relevance of a Rules-based Maize Marketing Policy: An Experimental Case Study of Zambia," Journal of Development Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 47(2), pages 207-230.
  • Handle: RePEc:taf:jdevst:v:47:y:2011:i:2:p:207-230
    DOI: 10.1080/00220381003599378
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/00220381003599378
    Download Restriction: Access to full text is restricted to subscribers.

    As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to look for a different version below or search for a different version of it.

    Other versions of this item:

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Theo Offerman & Jan Potters & Joep Sonnemans, 2002. "Imitation and Belief Learning in an Oligopoly Experiment," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 69(4), pages 973-997.
    2. Ernst Fehr & Klaus M. Schmidt, 1999. "A Theory of Fairness, Competition, and Cooperation," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 114(3), pages 817-868.
    3. Ernst Fehr & Georg Kirchsteiger & Arno Riedl, 1993. "Does Fairness Prevent Market Clearing? An Experimental Investigation," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 108(2), pages 437-459.
    4. Ramón López, 2005. "Under-investing in public goods: evidence, causes, and consequences for agricultural development, equity, and the environment," Agricultural Economics, International Association of Agricultural Economists, vol. 32(s1), pages 211-224, January.
    5. Jayne, T.S. & Zulu, Ballard & Nijhoff, J.J., 2006. "Stabilizing food markets in eastern and southern Africa," Food Policy, Elsevier, vol. 31(4), pages 328-341, August.
    6. Jayne, T. S. & Govereh, J. & Mwanaumo, A. & Nyoro, J. K. & Chapoto, A., 2002. "False Promise or False Premise? The Experience of Food and Input Market Reform in Eastern and Southern Africa," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 30(11), pages 1967-1985, November.
    7. Kherallah, Mylène & Delgado, Christopher L. & Gabre-Madhin, Eleni Z. & Minot, Nicholas & Johnson, Michael, 2002. "Reforming agricultural markets in Africa," Food policy statements 38, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).
    8. Güth, W. & Kroger, S. & Maug, E., 2003. "You May Have to Do it Again, Rocky! An Experimental Analysis of Bargaining with Risky Joint Profits," Discussion Paper 2003-117, Tilburg University, Center for Economic Research.
    9. Tschirley, David L. & Nijhoff, Jan J. & Arlindo, Pedro & Mwiinga, Billy & Weber, Michael T. & Jayne, Thomas S., 2006. "Anticipating and Responding to Drought Emergencies in Southern Africa: Lessons from the 2002-2003 Experience," Food Security International Development Working Papers 54564, Michigan State University, Department of Agricultural, Food, and Resource Economics.
    10. Huck, Steffen & Normann, Hans-Theo & Oechssler, Jorg, 1999. "Learning in Cournot Oligopoly--An Experiment," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 109(454), pages 80-95, March.
    11. Huck, Steffen & Muller, Wieland & Normann, Hans-Theo, 2001. "Stackelberg Beats Cournot: On Collusion and Efficiency in Experimental Markets," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 111(474), pages 749-765, October.
    12. Abbink, Klaus & Irlenbusch, Bernd & Renner, Elke, 2000. "The moonlighting game: An experimental study on reciprocity and retribution," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 42(2), pages 265-277, June.
    13. Daniel Haile & Abdolkarim Sadrieh & Harrie A. A Verbon, 2006. "Cross-Racial Envy and Underinvestment in South Africa," CESifo Working Paper Series 1657, CESifo Group Munich.
    14. Dufwenberg, Martin & Gneezy, Uri, 2000. "Measuring Beliefs in an Experimental Lost Wallet Game," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 30(2), pages 163-182, February.
    15. KLAUS ABBINK & MOLLER, Lars Christian & SARAH O'HARA, 2005. "The Syr Darya River Conflict: An Experimental Case Study," Discussion Papers 2005-14, The Centre for Decision Research and Experimental Economics, School of Economics, University of Nottingham.
    16. Huck, Steffen & Normann, Hans-Theo & Oechssler, Jorg, 2004. "Two are few and four are many: number effects in experimental oligopolies," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 53(4), pages 435-446, April.
    17. Deininger, Klaus & Olinto, Pedro, 2000. "Why liberalization alone has not improved agricultural productivity in Zambia : the role of asset ownership and working capital constraints," Policy Research Working Paper Series 2302, The World Bank.
    18. Douglass C. North, 1994. "Institutions and Credible Commitment," Economic History 9412002, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    19. William A. Masters & Paul V. Preckel, 1997. "A Spatial Analysis of Maize Marketing Policy Reforms in Zambia," American Journal of Agricultural Economics, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 79(2), pages 514-523.
    20. Nijhoff, Jan J. & Tschirley, David L. & Jayne, Thomas S. & Tembo, Gelson & Arlindo, Pedro & Mwiinga, Billy & Shaffer, James D. & Weber, Michael T. & Donovan, Cynthia & Boughton, Duncan, 2003. "Coordination for Long-Term Food Security by Government, Private Sector and Donors: Issues and Challenges," Food Security International Development Policy Syntheses 11319, Michigan State University, Department of Agricultural, Food, and Resource Economics.
    21. Byerlee, Derek & Jayne, T.S. & Myers, Robert J., 2006. "Managing food price risks and instability in a liberalizing market environment: Overview and policy options," Food Policy, Elsevier, vol. 31(4), pages 275-287, August.
    22. Berg Joyce & Dickhaut John & McCabe Kevin, 1995. "Trust, Reciprocity, and Social History," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 10(1), pages 122-142, July.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Citations

    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.
    as


    Cited by:

    1. Pfuderer, Simone, 2015. "An Experimental Approach to Testing the Competitive Storage Model," 89th Annual Conference, April 13-15, 2015, Warwick University, Coventry, UK 204297, Agricultural Economics Society.
    2. Sitko, Nicholas & Jayne, T.S., 2014. "Demystifying the Role of Grain Assemblers in the Rural Maize Markets of Eastern and Southern Africa," Food Security Collaborative Working Papers 176628, Michigan State University, Department of Agricultural, Food, and Resource Economics.
    3. Pfuderer, Simone, 2014. "Are stockholders rational? An experimental approach to testing the competitive storage model," 88th Annual Conference, April 9-11, 2014, AgroParisTech, Paris, France 170537, Agricultural Economics Society.
    4. Govereh, Jones & Jayne, Thomas S. & Chapoto, Antony, 2008. "Assessment of Alternative Maize Trade and Market Policy Interventions in Zambia," Food Security Collaborative Working Papers 54492, Michigan State University, Department of Agricultural, Food, and Resource Economics.
    5. Johnson, Michael E. & Edelman, Brent & Kazembe, Cynthia, 2016. "A farm-level perspective of the policy challenges for export diversification in Malawi: Example of the oilseeds and maize sectors:," IFPRI discussion papers 1549, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).
    6. Jayne, T.S. & Chapoto, Antony & Chamberlin, Jordan, 2011. "Strengthening Staple Food Markets in Eastern And Southern Africa: Toward An Integrated Approach for CAADP Investment Plans," Food Security International Development Policy Syntheses 157939, Michigan State University, Department of Agricultural, Food, and Resource Economics.
    7. Matthias Kalkuhl & Mekbib Haile & Lukas Kornher & Marta Kozicka, 2015. "Cost-benefit framework for policy action to navigate food price spikes. FOODSECURE Working Paper No 33," FOODSECURE Working papers 33, LEI Wageningen UR.
    8. repec:bla:srbeha:v:34:y:2017:i:4:p:386-400 is not listed on IDEAS
    9. Abbink, Klaus & Jayne, Thomas S. & Moller, Lars C., 2007. "The Benefits of a Rules-Based Maize Marketing Policy: Results of an Experimental Study of Zambia," Food Security Collaborative Policy Briefs 54636, Michigan State University, Department of Agricultural, Food, and Resource Economics.
    10. Sitko, Nicholas J. & Jayne, T.S., 2014. "Exploitative Briefcase Businessmen, Parasites, and Other Myths and Legends: Assembly Traders and the Performance of Maize Markets in Eastern and Southern Africa," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 54(C), pages 56-67.

    More about this item

    Statistics

    Access and download statistics

    Corrections

    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:taf:jdevst:v:47:y:2011:i:2:p:207-230. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Chris Longhurst). General contact details of provider: http://www.tandfonline.com/FJDS20 .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.