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Why do cooperatives fail? Big versus small in Ghanaian Cocoa Producers' Societies, 1930-36


  • Chiara Cazzuffi

    () (Department of Economics, University of Sussex)

  • Alexander Moradi

    () (Department of Economics, University of Sussex)


Using a complete panel of Ghanaian cocoa producers’ societies in the 1930s, we investigate whether group interaction problems threatened i) capital accumulation, ii) cocoa sales and iii) cooperative survival as membership size increased. We find evidence of group interaction problems. The net effect, however, is positive indicating gains from economies of scale as cooperatives expanded their membership.

Suggested Citation

  • Chiara Cazzuffi & Alexander Moradi, 2010. "Why do cooperatives fail? Big versus small in Ghanaian Cocoa Producers' Societies, 1930-36," Working Paper Series 0110, Department of Economics, University of Sussex.
  • Handle: RePEc:sus:susewp:0110

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Zuidema, Pieter A. & Leffelaar, Peter A. & Gerritsma, Wouter & Mommer, Liesje & Anten, Niels P.R., 2005. "A physiological production model for cocoa (Theobroma cacao): model presentation, validation and application," Agricultural Systems, Elsevier, vol. 84(2), pages 195-225, May.
    2. Hattink, Wolter & Heerink, Nico & Thijssen, Geert, 1998. "Supply Response of Cocoa in Ghana: A Farm-Level Profit Function Analysis," Journal of African Economies, Centre for the Study of African Economies (CSAE), vol. 7(3), pages 424-444, October.
    3. Hussi, P. & Murphy, J. & Lindberg, O. & Brenneman, L., 1993. "The Development of Cooperatives and Other Rural Organizations: The Role of the World Bank," Papers 199, World Bank - Technical Papers.
    4. Douglas Staiger & James H. Stock, 1997. "Instrumental Variables Regression with Weak Instruments," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 65(3), pages 557-586, May.
    5. Perotin, Virginie, 2006. "Entry, exit, and the business cycle: Are cooperatives different?," Journal of Comparative Economics, Elsevier, vol. 34(2), pages 295-316, June.
    6. Agarwal, Rajshree & Gort, Michael, 1996. "The Evolution of Markets and Entry, Exit and Survival of Firms," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 78(3), pages 489-498, August.
    7. Ahn, T.K. & Isaac, R. Mark & Salmon, Timothy C., 2009. "Coming and going: Experiments on endogenous group sizes for excludable public goods," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 93(1-2), pages 336-351, February.
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    Cited by:

    1. Wuepper, David & Sauer, Johannes, 2016. "Explaining the performance of contract farming in Ghana: The role of self-efficacy and social capital," Food Policy, Elsevier, vol. 62(C), pages 11-27.
    2. Rémi Jedwab & Alexandre Moradi, 2011. "Transportation Infrastructure and Development in Ghana," PSE Working Papers halshs-00607207, HAL.
    3. Carías Vega, Dora E. & Keenan, Rodney J., 2016. "Situating community forestry enterprises within New Institutional Economic theory: What are the implications for their organization?," Journal of Forest Economics, Elsevier, vol. 25(C), pages 1-13.

    More about this item


    cooperatives; firm survival; collective action problems; Ghana;

    JEL classification:

    • J54 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Labor-Management Relations, Trade Unions, and Collective Bargaining - - - Producer Cooperatives; Labor Managed Firms
    • 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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