Who Benefits from a Bioprospecting-Based Boom? The Case of Argan Oil in Morocco

42 Pages Posted: 3 Feb 2001

See all articles by Travis J. Lybbert

Travis J. Lybbert

University of California, Davis - Department of Agricultural and Resource Economics

Christopher B. Barrett

Cornell University - Charles H. Dyson School of Applied Economics & Management

Hamid Narjisse

IAV Hassan II

Date Written: January 2001

Abstract

This paper breaks new ground in the literature on bioprospecting by evaluating the local welfare effects associated with the successful bioprospecting-driven commercialization of argan oil in southwestern Morocco. The principal finding is that even when locals appear well-positioned to reap the ex post benefits of a bioprospecting success, one can reject the hypothesis that successful bioprospecting fuels local development and reduces poverty. Most locals participate only superficially in the bioprospecting-based boom and the benefits that do trickle down to local households appear to be regressively distributed, both regionally and between households. The key lies in understanding how opening up to new markets may induce endogenous product differentiation that easily excludes locals, especially the poor, and how ex ante market access - a variable commonly directly related to wealth - conditions households' capacity to participate in market-induced producer windfalls.

Suggested Citation

Lybbert, Travis J. and Barrett, Christopher B. and Narjisse, Hamid, Who Benefits from a Bioprospecting-Based Boom? The Case of Argan Oil in Morocco (January 2001). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=257326 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.257326

Travis J. Lybbert

University of California, Davis - Department of Agricultural and Resource Economics ( email )

One Shields Avenue
Davis, CA 95616
United States

Christopher B. Barrett (Contact Author)

Cornell University - Charles H. Dyson School of Applied Economics & Management ( email )

315 Warren Hall
Ithaca, NY 14853-7801
United States
607-255-4489 (Phone)
607-255-9984 (Fax)

HOME PAGE: http://aem.cornell.edu/faculty_sites/cbb2/

Hamid Narjisse

IAV Hassan II ( email )

Rabat
Morocco

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