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Missed opportunities and missing markets: Spatio-temporal arbitrage of rice in Madagascar

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  • Moser, Christine M.
  • Barrett, Christopher B.
  • Minten, Bart

Abstract

This paper uses an exceptionally rich data set to test the extent to which markets in Madagascar are integrated across space, time, and form (in converting from paddy to rice) and to explain some of the factors that limit arbitrage and price equalization within a single country. In particular, we use rice price data across four quarters of 2000-2001 along with data on transportation costs and infrastructure availability for nearly 1400 communes in Madagascar to examine the extent of market integration at three different spatial scales sub-regional, regional, and national and determine whether non-integration is due to high transfer costs or lack of competition. The results indicate that markets are fairly well integrated at the sub-regional level and that factors such as high crime, remoteness, and lack of information are among the factors limiting competition. A lack of competition persists at the regional level and high transfer costs impede spatial market integration at the national level. Only six percent of rural communes appear to be intertemporally integrated and there appear to be significant untapped opportunities for interseasonal arbitrage. Income is directly and strongly related to the probability of a commune being in interseasonal competitive equilibrium.

Suggested Citation

  • Moser, Christine M. & Barrett, Christopher B. & Minten, Bart, 2005. "Missed opportunities and missing markets: Spatio-temporal arbitrage of rice in Madagascar," 2005 Annual meeting, July 24-27, Providence, RI 19338, American Agricultural Economics Association (New Name 2008: Agricultural and Applied Economics Association).
  • Handle: RePEc:ags:aaea05:19338
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    File URL: http://purl.umn.edu/19338
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Angus Deaton & Guy Laroque, 1992. "On the Behaviour of Commodity Prices," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 59(1), pages 1-23.
    2. Fafchamps, Marcel & Gabre-Madhin, Eleni & Minten, Bart, 2005. "Increasing returns and market efficiency in agricultural trade," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 78(2), pages 406-442, December.
    3. Marcel Fafchamps & Christine Moser, 2003. "Crime, Isolation and Law Enforcement," Journal of African Economies, Centre for the Study of African Economies (CSAE), vol. 12(4), pages 625-671, December.
    4. Marcel Fafchamps, 2002. "Returns to social network capital among traders," Oxford Economic Papers, Oxford University Press, vol. 54(2), pages 173-206, April.
    5. Fafchamps, Marcel & Minten, Bart, 2001. "Property Rights in a Flea Market Economy," Economic Development and Cultural Change, University of Chicago Press, vol. 49(2), pages 229-267, January.
    6. Li, Jau-Rong & Barrett, Christopher B., 1999. "Distinguishing Between Equilibrium And Integration In Markets Analysis," Working Papers 14607, International Agricultural Trade Research Consortium.
    7. Bob Baulch, 1997. "Transfer Costs, Spatial Arbitrage, and Testing for Food Market Integration," American Journal of Agricultural Economics, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 79(2), pages 477-487.
    8. Deaton, Angus & Laroque, Guy, 1996. "Competitive Storage and Commodity Price Dynamics," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 104(5), pages 896-923, October.
    9. Christopher B. Barrett, 1996. "Market Analysis Methods: Are Our Enriched Toolkits Well Suited to Enlivened Markets?," American Journal of Agricultural Economics, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 78(3), pages 825-829.
    10. Fackler, Paul L. & Goodwin, Barry K., 2001. "Spatial price analysis," Handbook of Agricultural Economics,in: B. L. Gardner & G. C. Rausser (ed.), Handbook of Agricultural Economics, edition 1, volume 1, chapter 17, pages 971-1024 Elsevier.
    11. Christopher B. Barrett, 2001. "Measuring Integration and Efficiency in International Agricultural Markets," Review of Agricultural Economics, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 23(1), pages 19-32.
    12. Barrett, Christopher B., 1997. "Food marketing liberalization and trader entry: Evidence from Madagascar," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 25(5), pages 763-777, May.
    13. Timmer, C. Peter, 1974. "A Model of Rice Marketing Margins in Indonesia," Food Research Institute Studies, Stanford University, Food Research Institute, issue 02.
    14. Christopher B. Barrett & Paul A. Dorosh, 1996. "Farmers' Welfare and Changing Food Prices: Nonparametric Evidence from Rice in Madagascar," American Journal of Agricultural Economics, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 78(3), pages 656-669.
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    Cited by:

    1. Kym Anderson & Johan Swinnen, 2008. "Distortions to Agricultural Incentives in Europe's Transition Economies," World Bank Publications, The World Bank, number 6502, July.
    2. Anderson, Kym & Kurzweil, Marianne & Martin, William J. & Sandri, Damiano & Valenzuela, Ernesto, 2008. "Methodology for Measuring Distortions to Agricultural Incentives," Agricultural Distortions Working Paper 48326, World Bank.
    3. Arndt, Channing, 2005. "The Doha Trade Round and Mozambique," Policy Research Working Paper Series 3717, The World Bank.
    4. Xavier Cirera & Channing Arndt, 2008. "Measuring the impact of road rehabilitation on spatial market efficiency in maize markets in Mozambique," Agricultural Economics, International Association of Agricultural Economists, vol. 39(1), pages 17-28, July.
    5. Haggblade, Steven & Nielson, Hunter & Govereh, Jones & Dorosh, Paul A., 2008. "Potential Consequences of Intra-Regional Trade in Short-Term Food Security Crises in Southeastern Africa," Food Security Collaborative Working Papers 55376, Michigan State University, Department of Agricultural, Food, and Resource Economics.
    6. Dorosh, Paul A. & Minten, Bart, 2006. "Rice Price Stabilization in Madagascar: Price and Welfare Implications of Variable Tariffs," 2006 Annual Meeting, August 12-18, 2006, Queensland, Australia 25478, International Association of Agricultural Economists.
    7. Donovan, Cynthia & McGlinchy, Megan & Staatz, John M. & Tschirley, David L., 2006. "Emergency Needs Assessments and the Impact of Food Aid on Local Markets," Food Security International Development Working Papers 54566, Michigan State University, Department of Agricultural, Food, and Resource Economics.

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