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Input Subsidies, Cash Constraints and Timing of Input Supply:-Experimental Evidence from Malawi


  • Holden, Stein T.
  • Lunduka, Rodney


The study investigated the demand for fertilizer among rural farm households in Malawi that have been exposed to high fertilizer subsidy levels. Subsidies and cash constraints may limit their demand but their cash constraint may be less severe at harvest time than at planting time when they normally get their inputs. Three different experiments were used to assess the demand for fertilizer at harvest time and at planting time, to elicit farm gate shadow prices for fertilizer and to assess the gap between WTA and WTP prices for a standard input package The experiments demonstrated significant effects of timing and of cash constraints.

Suggested Citation

  • Holden, Stein T. & Lunduka, Rodney, 2012. "Input Subsidies, Cash Constraints and Timing of Input Supply:-Experimental Evidence from Malawi," 2012 Conference, August 18-24, 2012, Foz do Iguacu, Brazil 131460, International Association of Agricultural Economists.
  • Handle: RePEc:ags:iaae12:131460

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Esther Duflo & Michael Kremer & Jonathan Robinson, 2011. "Nudging Farmers to Use Fertilizer: Theory and Experimental Evidence from Kenya," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 101(6), pages 2350-2390, October.
    2. Ted O'Donoghue & Matthew Rabin, 2001. "Choice and Procrastination," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 116(1), pages 121-160.
    3. Ricker-Gilbert, Jacob & Jayne, Thomas S., 2008. "The Impact of Fertilizer Subsidies on National Fertilizer Use: An Example from Malawi," 2008 Annual Meeting, July 27-29, 2008, Orlando, Florida 6464, American Agricultural Economics Association (New Name 2008: Agricultural and Applied Economics Association).
    4. Edward C. Norton & Hua Wang & Chunrong Ai, 2004. "Computing interaction effects and standard errors in logit and probit models," Stata Journal, StataCorp LP, vol. 4(2), pages 154-167, June.
    5. Matthew Rabin & Ted O'Donoghue, 1999. "Doing It Now or Later," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 89(1), pages 103-124, March.
    6. Tavneet Suri, 2011. "Selection and Comparative Advantage in Technology Adoption," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 79(1), pages 159-209, January.
    7. Mette Wik & Tewodros Aragie Kebede & Olvar Bergland & Stein Holden, 2004. "On the measurement of risk aversion from experimental data," Applied Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 36(21), pages 2443-2451.
    8. David Laibson, 1997. "Golden Eggs and Hyperbolic Discounting," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 112(2), pages 443-478.
    9. Charles R. Plott & Kathryn Zeiler, 2007. "Exchange Asymmetries Incorrectly Interpreted as Evidence of Endowment Effect Theory and Prospect Theory?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 97(4), pages 1449-1466, September.
    10. Shane Frederick & George Loewenstein & Ted O'Donoghue, 2002. "Time Discounting and Time Preference: A Critical Review," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 40(2), pages 351-401, June.
    11. Horowitz, John K. & McConnell, Kenneth E., 2002. "A Review of WTA/WTP Studies," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 44(3), pages 426-447, November.
    12. Ai, Chunrong & Norton, Edward C., 2003. "Interaction terms in logit and probit models," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 80(1), pages 123-129, July.
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    Cited by:

    1. Holden, Stein, 2013. "High discount rates: - An artifact caused by poorly framed experiments or a result of people being poor and vulnerable?," CLTS Working Papers 8/13, Norwegian University of Life Sciences, Centre for Land Tenure Studies.
    2. repec:gam:jsusta:v:9:y:2017:i:8:p:1323-:d:109299 is not listed on IDEAS

    More about this item


    Malawi; input subsidies; fertilizer; cash constraints; time inconsistency; input delivery timing.; Agricultural and Food Policy; Consumer/Household Economics; Crop Production/Industries; Food Security and Poverty; Institutional and Behavioral Economics; Political Economy; Q12; Q18;

    JEL classification:

    • Q12 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Agriculture - - - Micro Analysis of Farm Firms, Farm Households, and Farm Input Markets
    • Q18 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Agriculture - - - Agricultural Policy; Food Policy

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