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Impact of global cotton markets on rural poverty in Benin

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  • Minot, Nicholas
  • Daniels, Lisa

Abstract

World cotton prices have fallen by about 40 percent over the last two years, focusing attention on the effect of subsidies for cotton growers in depressing prices. This paper combines farm survey data from Benin with assumptions about the decline in farm-level prices to estimate the direct and indirect effects of cotton price reductions on rural income and poverty in Benin. The results indicate that there is a strong link between cotton prices and rural welfare in Benin. A 40 percent reduction in farm-level prices of cotton results in an increase in rural poverty of 8 percentage points in the short-run and 6-7 percentage points in the long run. Based on the estimated marginal propensity to consume tradable goods, the consumption multiplier is in the range of 3.3, meaning that one dollar of reduced spending by cotton growers results in a contraction of 3.3 dollars in overall demand. Finally, econometric analysis of the determinants of the demand for hired agricultural labor suggests that falling cotton prices will not greatly reduce labor demand since the labor intensity of cotton is similar to that of competing crops in Benin. Overall, the study highlights the link between rising subsidies for cotton growers in the U.S. and rural poverty in cotton exporting countries such as Benin.

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  • Minot, Nicholas & Daniels, Lisa, 2002. "Impact of global cotton markets on rural poverty in Benin," MTID discussion papers 48, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).
  • Handle: RePEc:fpr:mtiddp:48
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Awudu Abdulai & Christopher Delgado, 2000. "An Empirical Investigation of Short- and Long-run Agricultural Wage Formation in Ghana," Oxford Development Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 28(2), pages 169-185.
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    3. Goletti, Francesco & Minot, Nicholas, 1997. "Rice markets, agricultural growth, and policy options in Viet Nam," MTID discussion papers 14, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).
    4. Minot, Nicholas, 2000. "Generating Disaggregated Poverty Maps: An Application to Vietnam," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 28(2), pages 319-331, February.
    5. Goletti, Francesco & Minot, Nicholas & Berry, Philippe, 1997. "Marketing constraints on rice exports from Viet Nam," MTID discussion papers 15, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).
    6. Kherallah, Mylène & Minot, Nicholas & Gruhn, Peter, 1999. "Adjustment of wheat production to market reform in Egypt," MTID discussion papers 32, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).
    7. Staal, Steven & Delgado, Christopher L. & Nicholson, Charles F., 1996. "Smallholder dairying under transactions costs in East Africa," MTID discussion papers 9, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).
    8. Rashid, Shahidur & Sharma, Manohar & Zeller, Manfred, 2002. "Micro-lending for small farmers in Bangladesh," MTID discussion papers 45, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).
    9. Fafchamps, Marcel & Minten, Bart, 2001. "Property Rights in a Flea Market Economy," Economic Development and Cultural Change, University of Chicago Press, vol. 49(2), pages 229-67, January.
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