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Evaluating the Impact on Market Performance of Investments in Market Information Systems: Methodological Challenges

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  • Staatz, John M.
  • Kizito, Andrew M.
  • Weber, Michael T.
  • Dembele, Niama Nango

Abstract

Evaluating the impact on market performance of investments in agricultural market information systems (MIS) face several methodological challenges. These fall into two broad categories: (a) defining the dimensions of market performance to measure (which is a function of whom the MIS is designed to serve) and identifying reliable indicators of those performance dimensions, and (b) identifying the causal effects of the MIS. The determination of causal effects in turn requires establishing a credible baseline, measuring “treatment effects” (i.e., the effects on economic behavior of receiving improved information from an MIS), dealing with problems of endogenous placement of treatment, and interpreting the validity of stakeholders’ statements and governments’ revealed preferences regarding the utility of MIS. Many of these challenges arise because improved market information can affect the welfare of market actors through improved market polices and increased competition even if those actors do not have direct access to that information. The paper discusses these challenges and identifies approaches that may be useful in developing a “convergence of evidence” concerning whether investment in a given MIS is socially worthwhile.

Suggested Citation

  • Staatz, John M. & Kizito, Andrew M. & Weber, Michael T. & Dembele, Niama Nango, 2011. "Evaluating the Impact on Market Performance of Investments in Market Information Systems: Methodological Challenges," Staff Papers 108184, Michigan State University, Department of Agricultural, Food, and Resource Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:ags:midasp:108184
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    File URL: http://purl.umn.edu/108184
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Aparajita Goyal, 2010. "Information, Direct Access to Farmers, and Rural Market Performance in Central India," American Economic Journal: Applied Economics, American Economic Association, vol. 2(3), pages 22-45, July.
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    4. Jenny C. Aker & Isaac M. Mbiti, 2010. "Mobile Phones and Economic Development in Africa," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 24(3), pages 207-232, Summer.
    5. Jenny C. Aker, 2010. "Information from Markets Near and Far: Mobile Phones and Agricultural Markets in Niger," American Economic Journal: Applied Economics, American Economic Association, vol. 2(3), pages 46-59, July.
    6. Azzeddine M. Azzam & John R. Schroeter, 1995. "The Tradeoff between Oligopsony Power and Cost Efficiency in Horizontal Consolidation: An Example from Beef Packing," American Journal of Agricultural Economics, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 77(4), pages 825-836.
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    12. Kizito, Andrew M., 2009. "Estimating the Benefits from Improved Market Information," Graduate Research Masters Degree Plan B Papers 48844, Michigan State University, Department of Agricultural, Food, and Resource Economics.
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    Cited by:

    1. repec:ags:mididp:152396 is not listed on IDEAS
    2. Perakis, Sonja Melissa, 2012. "“Changing Spatial Maize Price Relationships in West Africa”," 2012 Annual Meeting, August 12-14, 2012, Seattle, Washington 124910, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association.
    3. Kizito, Andrew M. & Donovan, Cynthia & Staatz, John M., 2012. "Impact of Agricultural Market Information Systems Activities on Market Performance in Mozambique: Mozambique Country Report," Food Security International Development Working Papers 169572, Michigan State University, Department of Agricultural, Food, and Resource Economics.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    market information services; impact assessment; market transparency; food policies; Agricultural and Food Policy; Food Security and Poverty; International Development; Marketing; Research and Development/Tech Change/Emerging Technologies; Research Methods/ Statistical Methods; C81; D80; H43; N57; 013; Q13;

    JEL classification:

    • C81 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Data Collection and Data Estimation Methodology; Computer Programs - - - Methodology for Collecting, Estimating, and Organizing Microeconomic Data; Data Access
    • D80 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - General
    • H43 - Public Economics - - Publicly Provided Goods - - - Project Evaluation; Social Discount Rate
    • N57 - Economic History - - Agriculture, Natural Resources, Environment and Extractive Industries - - - Africa; Oceania
    • Q13 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Agriculture - - - Agricultural Markets and Marketing; Cooperatives; Agribusiness

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