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Abstract

This paper looks at the experiences of agricultural input retailers in Malawi as a result of the Agricultural Input Subsidy Program. In particular, it focuses on the impact of excluding private sector retailers from participation in the subsidy program. Using a difference-in-difference approach to modeling fertilizer sales, it attempts to evaluate how retailers who were allowed to participate for part of the duration of the program but were then excluded experienced this policy change in comparison to retailers who were not allowed to participate at any point in the program. Furthermore, by looking at survey attrition over a two-year period, this paper looks at the evidence for and against the case that the subsidy program is driving private sector retailers out of business entirely. Due to known problems with the data and the results of testing done in the process of this research, this paper goes on to discuss the ideal methods that could produce the data needed to more accurately and comprehensively address the questions discussed in the first parts of the paper.

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