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The Impacts of Trade Barriers and Market Interventions on Maize Price Predictability: Evidence from Eastern and Southern Africa


  • Chapoto, Antony
  • Jayne, Thomas S.


There is continuing debate in east and southern Africa about the effects of food market reform on the welfare of small-scale farmers and low-income consumers. At the center of this debate is the perception that food prices have become more unstable in countries that have liberalized their staple food markets, thereby exacerbating the plight of poor consumers and farmers. This perception has led many governments in the region to shun an open maize borders policy and pursue a variety of food marketing and trade policy tools to stabilize food prices. Unfortunately, there remains a dearth of empirical evidence on the effects of alternative food marketing and trade policies, including that of liberalization, on price stability and predictability. Assessments of this issue are complicated by the fact that market reform programs are not monolithic in their design or implementation – impacts of reform on price instability may depend on variations in implementation. It would be particularly important to compare the magnitude of food price instability in countries that have embraced relatively comprehensive staple food market reform policies over time versus those in which the state continues to influence and stabilize food prices through the operations of marketing boards and controls on trade. This study examines the amplitude of price instability and unpredictability between countries using trade barriers and marketing board operations to stabilize prices versus countries with relatively open trade policies. Instability is defined as the unconditional variance in food prices over time, whereas unpredictability is defined as the unanticipated component of price instability, i.e., the conditional variance from a price forecast model.

Suggested Citation

  • Chapoto, Antony & Jayne, Thomas S., 2009. "The Impacts of Trade Barriers and Market Interventions on Maize Price Predictability: Evidence from Eastern and Southern Africa," Food Security International Development Working Papers 56798, Michigan State University, Department of Agricultural, Food, and Resource Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:ags:midiwp:56798

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    Cited by:

    1. Minot, Nicholas, 2014. "Food price volatility in sub-Saharan Africa: Has it really increased?," Food Policy, Elsevier, vol. 45(C), pages 45-56.
    2. Christophe Gouel, 2014. "Food Price Volatility and Domestic Stabilization Policies in Developing Countries," NBER Chapters,in: The Economics of Food Price Volatility, pages 261-306 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    3. repec:eee:jfpoli:v:69:y:2017:i:c:p:243-255 is not listed on IDEAS
    4. Diao, Xinshen & Kennedy, Adam & Mabiso, Athur & Pradesha, Angga, 2013. "Economywide impact of maize export bans on agricultural growth and household welfare in Tanzania: A Dynamic Computable General Equilibrium Model Analysis:," IFPRI discussion papers 1287, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).
    5. Jayne, Thomas S. & Mason, Nicole M. & Myers, Robert J. & Ferris, John N. & Mather, David & Sitko, Nicholas & Beaver, Margaret & Lenski, Natalie & Chapoto, Antony & Boughton, Duncan, 2010. "Patterns and Trends in Food Staples Markets in Eastern and Southern Africa: Toward the Identification of Priority Investments and Strategies for Developing Markets and Promoting Smallholder Productivi," Food Security International Development Working Papers 62148, Michigan State University, Department of Agricultural, Food, and Resource Economics.
    6. Gage, Daria, 2011. "Revitalizing Zambia’s Agricultural Marketing Information Centre (Amic)," Food Security Collaborative Policy Briefs 113646, Michigan State University, Department of Agricultural, Food, and Resource Economics.
    7. Mohajan, Haradhan, 2013. "Poverty and economic development of Kenya," MPRA Paper 51072, University Library of Munich, Germany, revised 06 Jul 2013.
    8. Aragie, Emerta & Pauw, Karl & Pernechele, Valentina, 2018. "Achieving food security and industrial development in Malawi: Are export restrictions the solution?," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 108(C), pages 1-15.
    9. Maitre d'Hotel, Elodie & le Cotty, Tristan & Jayne, Thomas S., 2012. "Is A Public Regulation Of Food Price Volatility Feasible In Africa? An Arch Approach In Kenya," 123rd Seminar, February 23-24, 2012, Dublin, Ireland 122551, European Association of Agricultural Economists.
    10. Dick Durevall & Roy Weide, 2017. "Importing High Food Prices by Exporting: Rice Prices in Lao PDR," Journal of Agricultural Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 68(1), pages 164-181, February.
    11. Sitko, Nicholas J. & Jayne, T.S., 2012. "Why are African commodity exchanges languishing? A case study of the Zambian Agricultural Commodity Exchange," Food Policy, Elsevier, vol. 37(3), pages 275-282.
    12. Makombe, Wilfred & Kropp, Jaclyn D., 2016. "The Effects Of Tanzanian Maize Export Bans On Producers’ Welfare And Food Security," 2016 Annual Meeting, July 31-August 2, 2016, Boston, Massachusetts 235499, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association.
    13. Lee, Yu Na, 2015. "Effect of Price Risk on Migration: Evidence from Ethiopian Rural Households," 2015 AAEA & WAEA Joint Annual Meeting, July 26-28, San Francisco, California 205812, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association;Western Agricultural Economics Association.
    14. Chinsinga, Blessings & Chirwa, Ephraim W., 2013. "Dealing with the 2007/08 Global Food Price Crisis: the Political Economy of Food Price Policy in Malawi," WIDER Working Paper Series 030, World Institute for Development Economic Research (UNU-WIDER).
    15. Ariga, Joshua & Jayne, Thomas S. & Njukia, Stephen, 2010. "Staple food prices in Kenya," Food Security Collaborative Working Papers 58559, Michigan State University, Department of Agricultural, Food, and Resource Economics.
    16. Jayne, T.S. & Chapoto, Antony & Chamberlin, Jordan, 2011. "Strengthening Staple Food Markets in Eastern And Southern Africa: Toward An Integrated Approach for CAADP Investment Plans," Food Security International Development Policy Syntheses 157939, Michigan State University, Department of Agricultural, Food, and Resource Economics.
    17. Minot, Nicholas, 2012. "Food price volatility in Africa: Has it really increased?:," IFPRI discussion papers 1239, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).

    More about this item


    africa; food security; maize; trade; markets; Food Security and Poverty; International Relations/Trade; Marketing; q13;

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