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Abstract

This paper introduces a simple method of price risk decomposition that determines the extent to which producer price risk is attributable to volatile inter-market margins, intra-day variation, intra-week (day of week) variation, or seasonality. We apply the method to livestock markets in northern Kenya, a setting of dramatic price volatility where price stabilization is a live policy issue. Large, variable inter-market basis is the single most important factor in explaining producer price risk in animals typically traded between markets. Local market conditions explain most price risk in other markets, in which traded animals rarely exit the region. Seasonality accounts for relatively little price risk faced by pastoralists in the dry lands of northern Kenya.

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