Globalization and International Commodity Trade with Specific Reference to the West African Cocoa Producers
Christopher L. Gilbert, Panos Varangis
NBER Working Paper No. 9668
Liberalization of tropical agricultural markets has brought globalization, in the sense that all producers now face world rather than domestic prices. Producer prices have tended to rise as a share of fob prices as intermediation costs and tax has declined. However, in conjunction with inelastic demand, the downward shift of the aggregate supply curve results in lower world prices. Farmers therefore get a higher share of a lower price. Cocoa is the market where these changes have been most pronounced. The incidence of the liberalization benefits in cocoa is largely on developed country consumers at the expense of the governments of the exporting countries and farmers in non-liberalizing (non-African) countries. Farmers in liberalized African markets are broadly neither better nor worse off.