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Abstract

In market economies, farmers .who are relatively remote from the ultimate markets for their products and inputs get lower prices at farmgate for their outputs and pay more for their inputs than do near-in farms. In turn, these price differentials influence the economic choices farmers make on inputs and outputs. The timing of transport relative to the harvest is another influence on the spatial pattern of incentives that farmers face. Delays in the evacuation of crops may increase farmers' costs in various ways. This paper uses an explicit model to investigate the consequences of delayed transport for: (1) the economics of allocating transport services over time and space, and (2) the common practice of inferring producer response to changes in prices over time from the spatial variation in prices found in cross-sectional surveys. It examines some evidence on delayed evacuation from French-speaking West Africa where governments have intervened heavily with the small farmers who produce cash crops.

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