Markets and States in Tropical Africa: The Political Basi... and over one million other books are available for Amazon Kindle. Learn more
Qty:1
  • List Price: $29.95
  • Save: $4.19 (14%)
FREE Shipping on orders over $35.
Only 13 left in stock (more on the way).
Ships from and sold by Amazon.com.
Gift-wrap available.
Add to Cart
Want it Tuesday, April 22? Order within and choose One-Day Shipping at checkout. Details
FREE Shipping on orders over $35.
Condition: Used: Good
Comment: Used Good condition book may have signs of cover wear and/or marks on corners and page edges. Inside pages may have highlighting, writing and underlining.
Add to Cart
Trade in your item
Get a $2.25
Gift Card.
Have one to sell?
Flip to back Flip to front
Listen Playing... Paused   You're listening to a sample of the Audible audio edition.
Learn more

Markets and States in Tropical Africa: The Political Basis of Agricultural Policies: With a New Preface (California Series on Social Choice and Political Economy) Paperback

ISBN-13: 978-0520244931 ISBN-10: 0520244931 Edition: 2nd

See all 9 formats and editions Hide other formats and editions
Amazon Price New from Used from Collectible from
Kindle
"Please retry"
Hardcover
"Please retry"
$80.35
Paperback
"Please retry"
$25.76
$20.44 $16.78

Free%20Two-Day%20Shipping%20for%20College%20Students%20with%20Amazon%20Student



Frequently Bought Together

Markets and States in Tropical Africa: The Political Basis of Agricultural Policies: With a New Preface (California Series on Social Choice and Political Economy) + Exit, Voice, and Loyalty: Responses to Decline in Firms, Organizations, and States + The Not So Wild, Wild West: Property Rights on the Frontier (Stanford Economics and Finance)
Price for all three: $68.16

Buy the selected items together

NO_CONTENT_IN_FEATURE

Big Spring Books
Editors' Picks in Spring Releases
Ready for some fresh reads? Browse our picks for Big Spring Books to please all kinds of readers.

Product Details

  • Series: California Series on Social Choice and Political Economy
  • Paperback: 195 pages
  • Publisher: University of California Press; 2 edition (March 4, 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0520244931
  • ISBN-13: 978-0520244931
  • Product Dimensions: 7.9 x 5.7 x 0.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #339,700 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

"Robert Bates's book manages the difficult task of speaking to the specialist and non-specialist alike. It explains the historical, political, and economic roots of Africa's challenges. Best of all, it gives context to why easy prescriptions haven't worked in the past, and some hope for what might work in the future." - Ray Suarez, Senior Correspondent, The NewsHour with Jim Lehrer"

From the Inside Flap

“Interested and well-meaning people in the United States wonder, ‘What’s the matter with Africa?’ Robert Bates’s book manages the difficult task of speaking to the specialist and non-specialist alike. It explains the historical, political, and economic roots of Africa’s challenges. Best of all, it gives context to why easy prescriptions haven’t worked in the past, and some hope for what might work in the future.”—Ray Suarez, Senior Correspondent, The NewsHour with Jim Lehrer

“Ever since its original publication in 1981, this elegant study has been a clarion call for agrarian reform predicated on market incentives. Bates's perspective transcends the lingering ideological nostrums that still impede progress toward the construction of modern economies in Africa. Based largely on his personal empirical research, this lasting work continues to guide the quest for realistic approaches to the problem of poverty in Africa and other agrarian regions of the world.”—Richard L. Sklar, author of African Politics in Postimperial Times

PRAISE FOR THE FIRST EDITION:

"[An] analysis of how public policy has fostered Africa's agricultural decline.... [The] description of how that policy has worked—the interests and mechanisms discriminating against the rural sector—is incomparable."—Foreign Affairs

More About the Author

Discover books, learn about writers, read author blogs, and more.

Customer Reviews

4.5 out of 5 stars
5 star
2
4 star
2
3 star
0
2 star
0
1 star
0
See all 4 customer reviews
Share your thoughts with other customers

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

14 of 14 people found the following review helpful By Etienne ROLLAND-PIEGUE on December 4, 2005
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
In this landmark study, Robert Bates offered an interpretation of African economic policies toward the agriculture sector that set the terms of the debate for the years to come. Why do African governments pursue policies that create market distortions, skewed incentives and misallocation of resources, despite their obvious costs for social welfare and long-term development? The core of Robert Bates' argument is that bad economics often makes good politics: governments choose to pursue policies that are clearly irrational from an economic viewpoint because their economic and social costs are more than offset by the political benefits that accrue to them and to the social forces that maintain them in power.

Things did not have to turn that way. Political elites who took power at the time of the independences sincerely believed that they could put their countries on a path to economic modernization and social well-being. What trapped Africa into a low equilibrium of narrow clientelism and entrenched self-interests was a mix of bad institutions, bad advice and bad luck.

African governments inherited from their colonizers institutions that were set to extract rents from the agriculture sector rather than to maximize the welfare of farmers. They chose a mix of development policies that emphasized the role of the state and the importance of a nascent manufacturing sector. And they benefited from a period of high commodity prices that led them to consider cash crops and natural resources as an inexhaustible source of foreign exchange revenue.
Read more ›
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Matthew P. Arsenault on July 27, 2006
Format: Paperback
In this work, Bates moves away from dependency theory in explaining the financial discrepancies between the Center and Periphery. Rather than concentrating on external catalysts to stalled development, Bates rational-actor model concentrates on the internal problems facing African development, particularly the pursuit of interests on the part of political and urban elites.

Much of Africa is facing an agricultural crisis. Although generally populated by small farmers, many nations in Africa face food shortages. Bates argues that these crises are the result of inefficient policies (which intervene in, and distort markets) implemented by political and economic elites. The question becomes, why are these policies being pursued? Bates explains the implementation of these inefficient agricultural policies through a rational choice model. Bates suggests that these policies are developed and implemented by rational political and economic elites seeking to maximize their own utility - particularly in regards to garnering political support - rather than pursing the collective good. This often occurs at the expense of many small farmers. He writes, "Policies are designed to secure the advantages of particular interests, to appease powerful political forces, and to enhance the capacity of political regimes to remain in power" (5-6).

The political and urban elites work in tandem to harvest economic resources garnered from the agricultural sector to promote industrialization. This is often done through the manipulation of market forces, particularly in keeping food prices low for urban interests. Doing so keeps the urban masses content, and allows industrialists to maintain low wages. In turn, the policy making elites garner political support.
Read more ›
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Arthur Digbee VINE VOICE on August 7, 2007
Format: Paperback
This book examines a simple and important puzzle: why do African governments choose such terrible economic policies? These policies are especially bad for agriculture, even though most Africans are farmers.

The answer is simple: African governments systematically favor urban interests. That means that they provide cheap food for urban workers, which means cheap labor for urban businesses (capital). These groups are outnumbered, but they live in the cities. This means that labor and capital can mobilize politically against the government in the capital city, while farmers - - who are scattered all over a large countryside with poor transportation links - - find it very difficult to pressure the government.

Bates' basic claim has much to recommend it. It is simple, yet it served as a productive research agenda for other studies - - such as Michael Lofchie's comparison of Kenya and Tanzania, among others. It is no wonder that this book made Bates' reputation, and was a seminal contribution to political economy in its day.

Its simplicity also makes the argument incomplete. Though he does discuss colonial legacies, Bates doesn't consider the wider international context. African countries would find it difficult to pursue pro-farmer policies because the rich world, especially in Europe and Japan, closes its markets to many African food products. Certainly this fact deserves to play an important role when we consider the poor choices that African governments make.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
1 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Faruk Ekmekci on April 25, 2007
Format: Paperback
The decolonization of Africa was espoused by two ideals of the African people: political independence and economic development. The African nationalists attributed their economic backwardness to their colonial heritage and believed that `independence' would pave the way to prosperity. Yet facing the dilemmas of economic development and the limitations of the international system, they eventually ended up with inefficient industrial firms, impoverished peasantry, and increased economic inequality.

Robert Bates' Markets and States in Tropical Africa analyzes the reasons for and the mechanism of state intervention in market in African states. Like every other country who has attempted to develop so far, independent African countries too faced the dilemmas of economic development, namely capital accumulation and market creation. The economies of Africa have been overwhelmingly rural in nature and the governing elites in Africa aimed to change this situation by through industrialization. The scarcity of capital led national elites to extract resources from agriculture and channel them into manufacture and industry. What is important here, as Bates emphasize, is that all nations seeking to industrialize have done this: "The African policies are thus notable not as exceptions but as examples of a larger class," (p. 119). The forms of economic manipulation were compatible with the prevailing economic doctrines: industry is the engine of growth, savings come from the profits of industry, rural sector should be squeezed for development, etc. (p. 97).

The African governments had both economic and political incentives to channel resources from the rural agricultural sector to the urban industrial enterprises.
Read more ›
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again

Product Images from Customers

Search
ARRAY(0x99e6f90c)