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The World Bank’s approach to increasing the vulnerability of small coffee producers

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  • Sasha C. Breger Bush

Abstract

This paper critically engages the World Bank’s recent experiments in providing marketbased price risk management for coffee farmers. Using the case of Mexico and the recent 1998–2002 coffee crisis, I argue that such advocacy of farm-level use of derivatives markets entails large direct and indirect costs for coffee farmer wellbeing. This is especially so for smallholders. Not only might hedging with derivatives further destabilise and reduce producer incomes, but the opportunity cost of the Bank’s advocacy, in terms of foregone risk management alternatives, is also problematic. I conclude with a discussion of several risk management alternatives that may better support small coffee producers facing volatile commodity prices.

Suggested Citation

  • Sasha C. Breger Bush, 2010. "The World Bank’s approach to increasing the vulnerability of small coffee producers," Brooks World Poverty Institute Working Paper Series 11310, BWPI, The University of Manchester.
  • Handle: RePEc:bwp:bwppap:11310
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    File URL: http://hummedia.manchester.ac.uk/institutes/gdi/publications/workingpapers/bwpi/bwpi-wp-11310.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Bohman, Mary & Jarvis, Lovell & Barichello, Richard, 1996. "Rent Seeking and International Commodity Agreements: The Case of Coffee," Economic Development and Cultural Change, University of Chicago Press, vol. 44(2), pages 379-404, January.
    2. Sergio H. Lence, 2009. "Do Futures Benefit Farmers?," American Journal of Agricultural Economics, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 91(1), pages 154-167.
    3. Robert H. Bates, 1998. "Open-Economy Politics: The Political Economy of the World Coffee Trade," Economics Books, Princeton University Press, edition 1, number 6067.
    4. Bussolo, Maurizio & Godart, Olivier & Lay, Jann & Thiele, Rainer, 2006. "The impact of commodity price changes on rural households : the case of coffee in Uganda," Policy Research Working Paper Series 4088, The World Bank.
    5. Morduch, Jonathan, 1999. "Between the State and the Market: Can Informal Insurance Patch the Safety Net?," World Bank Research Observer, World Bank Group, vol. 14(2), pages 187-207, August.
    6. Takamasa Akiyama & John Baffes & Donald Larson & Panos Varangis, 2001. "Commodity Market Reforms : Lessons of Two Decades," World Bank Publications, The World Bank, number 13852.
    7. Ronald W. Anderson & Jean-Pierre Danthine, 1983. "The Time Pattern of Hedging and the Volatility of Futures Prices," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 50(2), pages 249-266.
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