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Agricultural factor markets in Sub-Saharan Africa: An updated view with formal tests for market failure

Brian Dillon and Christopher Barrett ()

Food Policy, 2017, vol. 67, issue C, 64-77

Abstract: This paper uses the recently collected Living Standard Measurement Study–Integrated Surveys on Agriculture Initiative data sets from five countries in Sub-Saharan Africa to provide a comprehensive overview of factor market participation by agrarian households and to formally test for failures in rural markets. Under complete and competitive markets, households can solve their consumption and production problems separately, so that household factor endowments do not predict input demand. This paper implements a simple, theoretically grounded test of this separation hypothesis, which can be interpreted as a reduced form test of market failure. In all five study countries, the analysis finds strong evidence of factor market failure. Moreover, those failures appear general and structural, not specific to subpopulations defined by gender, geography, human capital, or land quality. However, we show that rural markets are not generally missing in an absolute sense, suggesting that market existence is less of a problem than market function.

Date: 2017
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Working Paper: Agricultural factor markets in Sub-Saharan Africa: an updated view with formal tests for market failure (2014) Downloads
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