Tara Mitchell, Trinity College Dublin

"Is Knowledge Power? Competition and Information in Agricultural Markets"


This paper investigates an important channel through which access to market information could increase the prices that producers receive from middlemen. I develop a model of trade between a farmer and a middleman, allowing for different types of middlemen, and provide an empirical test of the theory from a framed field experiment carried out in India. The model predicts a non-monotonic relationship between the benefit of information and the cost of switching to a new middleman. I find that middlemen differ in their attitudes towards fairness and the benefit of information to the farmer varies with the cost of switching.