Are Borders Barriers? The Impact of International and Internal Ethnic Borders on Agricultural Markets in West Africa

49 Pages Posted: 19 Oct 2010

See all articles by Jenny C. Aker

Jenny C. Aker

Tufts University - The Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy; Center for Global Development

Michael W. Klein

Tufts University - The Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy; National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

Stephen A. O'Connell

Swarthmore College - Economics Department; University of Oxford - Centre for Study of African Economics

Muzhe Yang

Lehigh University - Department of Economics

Multiple version iconThere are 2 versions of this paper

Date Written: April 9, 2010

Abstract

This paper addresses two important economic issues for Africa: the contribution of national borders and ethnicity to market segmentation and integration between and within countries. The authors find evidence of an international border effect between Niger and Nigeria for both a grain and a cash crop. The international border effect is lower, however, if the cross-border markets share a common ethnicity. Ethnicity is also linked to higher price dispersion within Niger; there is a significant intranational border effect between markets in different ethnic regions of the country. The authors provide suggestive evidence that the primary mechanism behind the internal border effect is related to the role of ethnicity in facilitating access to credit in agricultural markets. These results are robust to the use of regression discontinuity techniques.

Keywords: Food, Agriculture

Suggested Citation

Aker, Jenny C. and Klein, Michael W. and O'Connell, Stephen A. and Yang, Muzhe, Are Borders Barriers? The Impact of International and Internal Ethnic Borders on Agricultural Markets in West Africa (April 9, 2010). Center for Global Development Working Paper No. 208. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1693900 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.1693900

Jenny C. Aker (Contact Author)

Tufts University - The Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy ( email )

Medford, MA 02155
United States

Center for Global Development ( email )

2055 L St. NW
5th floor
Washington, DC 20036
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Michael W. Klein

Tufts University - The Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy ( email )

Medford, MA 02155
United States
617-627-2718 (Phone)
617-627-3712 (Fax)

National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

1050 Massachusetts Avenue
Cambridge, MA 02138
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Stephen A. O'Connell

Swarthmore College - Economics Department ( email )

Swarthmore, PA 19081
United States
610-328-8107 (Phone)
610-328-7352 (Fax)

HOME PAGE: http://www.swarthmore.edu/SocSci/soconne1/

University of Oxford - Centre for Study of African Economics

Wellington Square
Oxford OX1 3JP
United Kingdom

Muzhe Yang

Lehigh University - Department of Economics ( email )

621 Taylor Street
Bethlehem, PA 18015
United States

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