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Abstract

A 1981 study in the Dominican Republic was replicated in 1987 to analyze the effect of producer preferences on farm prices for red beans and to determine if rural market conditions changed significantly between the two study periods. In contrast to the 1981 study. econometric analysis of the 1987 situation revealed that when adjustments are made for quality. consumer preferences. and transport costs, not even the earlier revealed impact of quantity marketed, habitual sales to the same buyer, or local political power of the farm family significantly affected the farm-wholesale price margin. Again, the lack of any perceptible influence based on the provision of groceries, family relationships, wealth, tied purchase or weight manipulation was substantiated. The analysis once again corroborated that, although fanners may express a sense of obligation to middlemen who are related or who sell them groceries, and where a reservation price Inay be elicited with respect to sale of their crop to an alternative buyer, fanner actions revealed such expressions to be meaningless. The unabated tendency of producers verbally to exaggerate their social obligations will continue to represent a methodological dilemma for social scientists unwilling or unable to delve quantitatively below such manifestations in order to distinguish between intent and action.

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