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The effects of macroeconomic policy on South African agriculture: implications for exports, prices and farm incomes


  • R. F. Townsend

    (Department of Agricultural Economics, Extension and Rural Development, University of Pretoria, South Africa)

  • C. Thirtle

    (Department of Agricultural and Food Economics, University of Reading, UK)


Cointegration techniques were used to identify valid long-run relationships between macroeconomic variables and agriculture. Then, identifying restrictions were imposed on a VAR system and three long-run equilibrium relationships were found, with exports, the real price of outputs and net farm income as the dependent variables. Some of the elasticities had perverse signs that could be explained by the activities of the Marketing Boards and other distortionary policies. Tests shows that the macroeconomic variables were causally prior to the agricultural variables and that the system was becoming more responsive later in the period, as some of the distortion was removed. © 1998 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

Suggested Citation

  • R. F. Townsend & C. Thirtle, 1998. "The effects of macroeconomic policy on South African agriculture: implications for exports, prices and farm incomes," Journal of International Development, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 10(1), pages 117-128.
  • Handle: RePEc:wly:jintdv:v:10:y:1998:i:1:p:117-128 DOI: 10.1002/(SICI)1099-1328(199801)10:1<117::AID-JID504>3.0.CO;2-J

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Bordo, Michael David, 1980. "The Effects of Monetary Change on Relative Commodity Prices and the Role of Long-Term Contracts," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 88(6), pages 1088-1109, December.
    2. Sargan, John Denis & Bhargava, Alok, 1983. "Testing Residuals from Least Squares Regression for Being Generated by the Gaussian Random Walk," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 51(1), pages 153-174, January.
    3. Dickey, David A & Fuller, Wayne A, 1981. "Likelihood Ratio Statistics for Autoregressive Time Series with a Unit Root," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 49(4), pages 1057-1072, June.
    4. Johansen, Soren, 1988. "Statistical analysis of cointegration vectors," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 12(2-3), pages 231-254.
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