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Publication(Washington, DC: World Bank, 2001-03) Akiyama, Takamasa ; Baffes, John ; Larson, Donald ; Varangis, PanosStructural reform of the economies of developing countries has been in the forefront of development interest since the early 1980s. This interest stems from a recognition that the structures and institutions of these countries are critical to any enhancement of economic and social development. One of the key reforms has been that of primary commodity markets, especially agricultural commodity markets, because many developing countries, including the poorest, depend heavily on these for foreign exchange earnings and employment, and hence for poverty reduction. This report focuses on the political economy and institutional aspects of agricultural commodity market reform. In order to explore in detail factors that are critical to the processes, consequences, and substance of reform, the authors have focused the analysis and evaluation on five commodities important in many developing countries, specifically cocoa, coffee, sugar, cotton, and cereal. In doing so, they highlight important lessons on how agricultural sector reform can be launched and implemented. Some of the factors identified in the report as being key to successful reform include the recognition that commodity markets often affect communities and even politics, that the initial conditions of markets are critical, and that government intervention can crowd out private sector initiatives, especially when it comes to building the institutions needed to develop a healthy agricultural sector.
Publication(Washington, DC: World Bank, 2001-03) Reinikka, Ritva ; Collier, Paul ; Reinikka, Ritva ; Collier, PaulThis book consists of series of studies written by a range of specialists who analyze the responses of private sector agents--households, farms, and firms--and of the government of Uganda itself, to the macroeconomic and structural reforms implemented since the late 1980s in a society recovering from a traumatic civil conflict. The importance of this line of inquiry cannot be underestimated because the success or failure of market-oriented reforms depends crucially on just how private sector agents are able to respond to incentives and opportunities created by the reforms. The analysis in this book draws on quantitative data derived from a series of household surveys and from surveys of firms conducted in the 1990s and more recently in 1999/2000. The household surveys permit analysis of the evolution of income, expenditures, and poverty during this period. The impact of reforms on rural factor markets, on crop and livestock production decisions, and on firms' investment decisions are also among the issues researched in this report. While this report praises Uganda's achievements where warranted, it provides an objective assessment of the reforms and does not shy away from identifying areas where policy mistakes were made. It points out where major weaknesses still exist, notably, public sector corruption, the still poor enforcement of contracts, and the deficiencies in the physical infrastructure.