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John R. Commons and the Evolution of Institutions: The Case of the Malian Cotton Sector

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  • Theriault, Veronique
  • Sterns, James A.

Abstract

Applying John R. Commons institutional economic framework, this paper analyzes the evolution of the key institutions in the Malian cotton sector starting with the CFDT contract following the country‘s Independence in 1960; the nationalization of the cotton gin company, CMDT, in 1974; the completion of a vertically integrated market structure from the mid-1980s to mid-1990s; and, finally, to the current state of the market-oriented reforms in 2010. In accordance with John R. Commons’ economic theory, institutional changes in the Malian cotton sector have led to both intended and unintended consequences impacting economic performance at the farm, gin, and State levels, which in turn, has contributed to the emergence of new limiting factors. At present, the limiting factors to desired economic performance in the Malian cotton sector are: the lack of adequate extension services, high rates of indebtedness at both farmer and cooperative levels, difficulty in farming in an integrated system due to the limited access to cereal inputs on credit, low yields, delays in payment, and discordance between farmers and their union‘s leaders. Based on these findings, policy recommendations to revitalize the Malian cotton sector are drawn.

Suggested Citation

  • Theriault, Veronique & Sterns, James A., 2012. "John R. Commons and the Evolution of Institutions: The Case of the Malian Cotton Sector," 2012 Annual Meeting, August 12-14, 2012, Seattle, Washington 124460, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association.
  • Handle: RePEc:ags:aaea12:124460
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    File URL: http://purl.umn.edu/124460
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Louis M. Goreux & Paul R Masson & Dhaneshwar Ghura & Ousmane Badiane, 2002. "Cotton Sector Strategies in West and Central Africa," IMF Working Papers 02/173, International Monetary Fund.
    2. Stein, Howard, 1994. "Theories of institutions and economic reform in Africa," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 22(12), pages 1833-1849, December.
    3. Karlan, Dean & Gine, Xavier, 2009. "Group versus Individual Liability: Long Term Evidence from Philippine Microcredit Lending Groups," Working Papers 61, Yale University, Department of Economics.
    4. Akiyama, Takamasa & Baffes, John & Larson, Donald F. & Varangis, Panos, 2003. "Commodity market reform in Africa: some recent experience," Economic Systems, Elsevier, vol. 27(1), pages 83-115, March.
    5. North, Douglass C, 1994. "Economic Performance through Time," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 84(3), pages 359-368, June.
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    Cited by:

    1. Ollenburger, Mary H. & Descheemaeker, Katrien & Crane, Todd A. & Sanogo, Ousmane M. & Giller, Ken E., 2016. "Waking the Sleeping Giant: Agricultural intensification, extensification or stagnation in Mali's Guinea Savannah," Agricultural Systems, Elsevier, vol. 148(C), pages 58-70.
    2. Smale, Melinda & Kergna, Alpha O. & Theriault, Veronique & Assima, Amidou & Keita, Naman, 2016. "Gender, generation and cereal crop intensification in Mali," 2016 Annual Meeting, July 31-August 2, 2016, Boston, Massachusetts 235544, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association.

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    Keywords

    John R. Commons; Institutions; Cotton; Mali; Institutional and Behavioral Economics; International Development;

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