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Consensus, institutions, and supply response : the political economy of agricultural reforms in Sub-Saharan Africa

  • Aksoy, Ataman
  • Onal, Anil
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    During the late 1980s and the 1990s, most countries in Sub-Saharan Africa implemented agricultural policy reforms, along with national political and economic reforms. The agricultural reforms focused on opening up processing and marketing activities to increased competition and eliminating export taxes and restrictions to improve producer incentives. In eight of nine country/commodity case studies analyzed in this paper, output responded positively in the short run to the reforms. In many cases, however, the initial supply response was not sustained in the face of subsequent shocks. The studies suggest that stakeholder consensus on the distribution of sector-specific rents is a key variable affecting the sustainability of supply responses. Agricultural sector reforms lead to large changes in income distribution. The greater the acceptance of the distribution of rents following the reforms, the better sectors are able to accommodate subsequent shocks. In cases where the initial consensus on the distribution of rents is weak, shocks lead to reform reversals in some cases or an inability to design necessary support institutions in others. The diversity in outcomes across similar products and countries suggests it is possible to achieve sector and local level results that differ from national ones.

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    Paper provided by The World Bank in its series Policy Research Working Paper Series with number 5782.

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    Date of creation: 01 Aug 2011
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    Handle: RePEc:wbk:wbrwps:5782
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    1. Kherallah, Mylène & Delgado, Christopher L. & Gabre-Madhin, Eleni Z. & Minot, Nicholas & Johnson, Michael, 2002. "Reforming agricultural markets in Africa," Food policy statements 38, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).
    2. Akiyama, Takamasa & Baffes, John & Larson, Donald F. & Varangis, Panos, 2003. "Commodity market reform in Africa : some recent experience," Policy Research Working Paper Series 2995, The World Bank.
    3. John Baffes & Bruce Gardner, 2003. "The transmission of world commodity prices to domestic markets under policy reforms in developing countries," Journal of Economic Policy Reform, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 6(3), pages 159-180.
    4. Margo, Robert A., 2006. "Economic Origins of Dictatorship and Democracy. By Daron Acemoglu and James A. Robinson. New York: Cambridge University Press, 2006. Pp. vii, 416. $35," The Journal of Economic History, Cambridge University Press, vol. 66(02), pages 532-534, June.
    5. Dani Rodrik, 2007. "Introductiion to One Economics, Many Recipes: Globalization, Institutions, and Economic Growth
      [One Economics, Many Recipes: Globalization, Institutions, and Economic Growth]
      ," Introductory Chapters, Princeton University Press.
    6. repec:cup:cbooks:9780521855266 is not listed on IDEAS
    7. Takamasa Akiyama & John Baffes & Donald Larson & Panos Varangis, 2001. "Commodity Market Reforms : Lessons of Two Decades," World Bank Publications, The World Bank, number 13852, June.
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