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Market Power and Spatial Competition in Rural India

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  • Chatterjee, S.

Abstract

In this paper, I argue that market power of intermediaries plays an important role in contributing to low incomes of farmers in India. I study the role of spatial competition between intermediaries in determining the prices that farmers receive in India by focusing on a law that restricts farmers to selling their goods to intermediaries in their own state. I show that the discontinuities in market power generated by the law translate into discontinuities in prices. Increasing spatial competition by one standard deviation causes prices received by farmers to increase by 6.4%. To shed light on spatial and aggregate implications, I propose and estimate a quantitative spatial model of bargaining and trade. Using this structural model, I estimate that the removal of the interstate trade restriction in India would increase competition between intermediaries substantially, thereby increasing the prices farmers receive and their output. Estimates suggest that average farmer prices and output would increase by at least 11% and 7% respectively. The value of the national crop output would therefore increase by at least 18%.

Suggested Citation

  • Chatterjee, S., 2019. "Market Power and Spatial Competition in Rural India," Cambridge Working Papers in Economics 1921, Faculty of Economics, University of Cambridge.
  • Handle: RePEc:cam:camdae:1921
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    Cited by:

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    2. Merfeld, Joshua D., 2020. "Smallholders, Market Failures, and Agricultural Production: Evidence from India," IZA Discussion Papers 13682, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    3. Dhingra, Swati & Tenreyro, Silvana, 2020. "The Rise of Agribusiness and the Distributional Consequences of Policies on Intermediated Trade," CEPR Discussion Papers 14384, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    4. Kanika Mahajan & Shekhar Tomar, 2021. "COVID‐19 and Supply Chain Disruption: Evidence from Food Markets in India†," American Journal of Agricultural Economics, John Wiley & Sons, vol. 103(1), pages 35-52, January.
    5. Kanika Mahajan & Shekhar Tomar, 2020. "Here Today, Gone Tomorrow: COVID-19 and Supply Chain Disruptions," Working Papers 28, Ashoka University, Department of Economics.
    6. Dhingra, Swati & Tenreyro, Silvana, 2020. "The rise of agribusiness and the distributional consequences of policies on intermediated trade," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 108418, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
    7. Nicholas Li, 2021. "In-kind transfers, marketization costs and household specialization: Evidence from Indian farmers," Working Papers tecipa-700, University of Toronto, Department of Economics.

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    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • D43 - Microeconomics - - Market Structure, Pricing, and Design - - - Oligopoly and Other Forms of Market Imperfection
    • F12 - International Economics - - Trade - - - Models of Trade with Imperfect Competition and Scale Economies; Fragmentation
    • L13 - Industrial Organization - - Market Structure, Firm Strategy, and Market Performance - - - Oligopoly and Other Imperfect Markets
    • L81 - Industrial Organization - - Industry Studies: Services - - - Retail and Wholesale Trade; e-Commerce
    • O13 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Agriculture; Natural Resources; Environment; Other Primary Products
    • Q13 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Agriculture - - - Agricultural Markets and Marketing; Cooperatives; Agribusiness
    • R12 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - General Regional Economics - - - Size and Spatial Distributions of Regional Economic Activity; Interregional Trade (economic geography)

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