Farmers' Subjective Valuation of Subsistence Crops: The Case of Traditional Maize in Mexico
Posted: 8 Oct 2009
Shadow prices guide farmers' resource allocations, but for subsistence farmers who grow traditional crops they may bear little relationship with market prices. We theoretically derive shadow prices for a subsistence crop with nonmarket value, then estimate shadow prices of maize using data from a nationally representative survey of rural households in Mexico. Shadow prices are significantly higher than market prices for traditional but not improved maize varieties. They are particularly high in the indigenous areas of southern and southeastern Mexico, indicating large de facto incentives to maintain traditional varieties there.
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