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Working Paper

Price Seasonality in Africa : Measurement and Extent

SPOT PRICE RETAILING SEASONAL FACTOR RETAIL PRICE COUNTRY MARKET STOCK FUTURES SEARCH COUNTRY FIXED EFFECTS DEFLATION INCOME INTEREST FUTURE EARNINGS EXCHANGE INFORMATION LIQUIDITY DEVELOPING COUNTRIES PRICE VARIATION FOOD PRICES CASSAVA FOOD POLICY FOOD POLICY RESEARCH IFPRI TRANSMISSION TOMATOES WORLD MARKETS STORAGE FACILITIES AGRICULTURAL ECONOMICS PRICE PRICE TREND FOOD POLICY SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT INFLATION SOFTWARE PROGRAM DEVELOPING COUNTRY RETAIL INTERNATIONAL FOOD POLICY RESEARCH INSTITUTE OPEN ACCESS PRICE VARIATION MAIZE LINK DATA FOOD MARKETS CEREALS WHOLESALE MARKETS INTERNATIONAL FOOD POLICY RESEARCH INSTITUTE CURRENCY FOOD POLICY RESEARCH DATES SILOS FOOD PRICE PRICE VOLATILITY PRODUCTS MARKET PLACE SEASONAL FACTORS BUYERS MARKETING MARKETS FRUITS VEGETABLES AGRICULTURAL PRICES WEB MATERIAL PRICE SERIES PRODUCT FAMINE GRAINS FOOD PRODUCTS COMMODITY PRICE MARKETPLACES EXPENDITURE TRANSACTIONS STAPLE FOODS DATA AVAILABILITY FOOD SECURITY PRICE TRENDS WHOLESALE PRICES DOMESTIC MARKETS HOUSEHOLD FOOD SECURITY VOLATILITY SOFTWARE RESULTS FUTURE VALUE SEASONAL FACTORS THIRD WORLD RAW DATA PURCHASING POWER DEMAND FRUIT COUNTRY DUMMIES PRICE RISK RETAIL MARKETS PRICE CHANGES TRAINING MANUAL EXPENDITURES AGRICULTURE PRICE FLUCTUATIONS FOOD SHORTAGE AVERAGE PRICE PRICE INFORMATION SPOT MARKET EGGS MARKET LOCAL CURRENCY RETAIL PRICES FOOD PRICE INSTABILITY RESULT GOVERNMENT POLICIES TRADE SECURITY INTERNATIONAL MARKET PRICE BAND STOCK EXCHANGE BUSINESS FOOD CROPS SHARE FINANCIAL MARKETS BANANAS PERFORMANCE SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT PURCHASING MARKET POWER ADVERSE EFFECT MARKET PLACES RICE MISSING VALUES COMMODITIES ORANGES FOOD PRICES ARBITRAGE FINANCIAL MARKETS PRICE INDEX FOODS COMMODITY INTERNATIONAL MARKETS PRICES USES MISSING DATA SUGAR STORAGE
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World Bank, Washington, DC
Africa | Malawi
2016-02-02T22:41:29Z | 2016-02-02T22:41:29Z | 2016-01

Everyone knows about seasonality. But what exactly do we know? This study systematically measures seasonal price gaps at 193 markets for 13 food commodities in seven African countries. It shows that the commonly used dummy variable or moving average deviation methods to estimate the seasonal gap can yield substantial upward bias. This can be partially circumvented using trigonometric and sawtooth models, which are more parsimonious. Among staple crops, seasonality is highest for maize (33 percent on average) and lowest for rice (16½ percent). This is two and a half to three times larger than in the international reference markets. Seasonality varies substantially across market places, but maize is the only crop in which there are important systematic country effects. Malawi, where maize is the main staple, emerges as exhibiting the most acute seasonal differences. Reaching the Sustainable Development Goal of Zero Hunger requires renewed policy attention to seasonality in food prices and consumption.

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