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Title: Essays on transactions costs and information technologies
Author: Zanello, Giacomo
ISNI:       0000 0004 2741 1600
Awarding Body: University of Reading
Current Institution: University of Reading
Date of Award: 2012
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The major objective of this study is to investigate the nature of transactions costs in agricultural markets in developing countries, and the potential impact Information Com- munication Technologies (ICTs, namely mobile phones and radios) have in enhancing and facilitating market participations of farm households and supporting their marketing de- cisions. The study is divided in two essays which share primary data collected from 450 households in northern Ghana. The first essay investigates the role of information in participation in food crops markets. To fully capture the market participation behaviours, the current theoretical framework is extended to include those households that sell and buy in the same period of time. Results show that receiving market information via mobile phones has a positive and significant impact on market participation, with a greater impact for households with a surplus of food crops. We also found that radios have larger impact on the quantity traded. That may reflect the nature of mobiles in reducing searching costs, whether providing an updated and regular flow of information radios may affect the pattern of crop consumed and sold. It is also emphasized that the significant factor is how the ICTs are used, and not their ownership. In the second essay, we modelled market participation decisions of farm-households. We found that larger tradable quantities attract farmgate buyers, and wealthier farmers prefer higher profits and so travel to the market. Better market information pushes some farmers to travel to farther away markets knowing the prices there, and others to strength their bargaining position in closer markets. Farmers that listen to price information on the radio travel to farther away market and on average receive 15 percent higher prices compared to their neighbours. Finally, we did not find direct evidence that mobile phones improve the reliability of information compared to other media; however they significantly reduce searching costs.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available