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Market Emergence and Transition: Transaction Costs, Arbitrage and Autarky in China's Grain Market.

Publication Abstract

Park, Albert F., Hehui Jin, Scott Rozelle, and Jikun Huang. 2002. "Market Emergence and Transition: Transaction Costs, Arbitrage and Autarky in China's Grain Market." American Journal of Agricultural Economics, 84(1): 67-82.

Using trimonthly Chinese provincial grain prices from 1988 to 1995, we estimate a parity-bounds model of interregional trade for four subperiods to characterize how multiple aspects of market performance change during the process of economic transition. For each period, we estimate the extent to which arbitrage opportunities are realized by traders, the transaction costs between location pairs, and the likelihood that regions do not trade. Trade restrictions cannot explain the pattern of uneven market development over time. Infrastructure bottlenecks, managerial incentive reforms, and production specialization policies, all were likely important factors affecting market performance.

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