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The end of seasonality ? new insights from Sub-Saharan Africa

Luc Christiaensen, Christopher L. Gilbert, Jonathan Kaminski, Luc Christiaensen, Christopher L. Gilbert and Jonathan Kaminski
Authors registered in the RePEc Author Service: Luc Christiaensen and Jonathan Kaminski

No 6907, Policy Research Working Paper Series from The World Bank

Abstract: This paper revisits the extent of seasonality in African livelihoods, which has disappeared from Africa's development debate. Through econometric analysis of monthly food price series across 100 locations in three countries during 2000-12, it is shown that seasonal movements in maize wholesale prices explain 20 (Tanzania, Uganda) to 40 (Malawi) percent of their monthly volatility. Monthly maize peak prices are on average 30 (Tanzania, Uganda) to 50 (Malawi) percent higher than their monthly troughs and two to three times higher than the seasonal gaps observed for white maize at the South African Futures Exchange. Furthermore, household food consumption is found to inversely track food prices in each country, decreasing when staple prices increase and increasing when they decline. Clearly, (excess) seasonality in African food markets and consumption persists, necessitating policy attention.

Keywords: Climate Change and Agriculture; Crops and Crop Management Systems; Macroeconomic Management; Food Security; International Trade and Trade Rules; Labor Markets (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2014-06-01
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-afr and nep-agr
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