Is it enough? evidence from a natural experiment in India's agriculture markets

Christopher Dalton Parker, Kamalini Ramdas, Nicos Savva

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

16 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Access to information and communication technologies (ICTs) such as mobile phone networks is widely known to improve market efficiency. In this paper, we examine whether access to timely and accurate information provided through ICT applications has any additional impact. Using a detailed data set from Reuters Market Light (RML), a text message service in India that provides daily price information to market participants, we find that this information reduces the geographic price dispersion of crops in rural communities by an average of 12%, over and above access to mobile phone technology and other means of communication. To identify the effect of information on price dispersion, we exploit a natural experiment where bulk text messages were banned unexpectedly across India for 12 days in 2010. We find that besides reducing geographic price dispersion, RML also increases the rate at which prices converge across India over time. We discuss the implications of this for development organizations and information providers.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2481-2503
Number of pages23
JournalManagement Science
Volume62
Issue number9
DOIs
StatePublished - Sep 1 2016

Fingerprint

Agriculture
Natural experiment
India
Price dispersion
Mobile phone
Information and communication technology
Organization development
Communication
Market efficiency
Crops
Rural communities

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Strategy and Management
  • Management Science and Operations Research

Cite this

Parker, Christopher Dalton ; Ramdas, Kamalini ; Savva, Nicos. / Is it enough? evidence from a natural experiment in India's agriculture markets. In: Management Science. 2016 ; Vol. 62, No. 9. pp. 2481-2503.
@article{5115309aec544ca5b3c3402b43749537,
title = "Is it enough? evidence from a natural experiment in India's agriculture markets",
abstract = "Access to information and communication technologies (ICTs) such as mobile phone networks is widely known to improve market efficiency. In this paper, we examine whether access to timely and accurate information provided through ICT applications has any additional impact. Using a detailed data set from Reuters Market Light (RML), a text message service in India that provides daily price information to market participants, we find that this information reduces the geographic price dispersion of crops in rural communities by an average of 12{\%}, over and above access to mobile phone technology and other means of communication. To identify the effect of information on price dispersion, we exploit a natural experiment where bulk text messages were banned unexpectedly across India for 12 days in 2010. We find that besides reducing geographic price dispersion, RML also increases the rate at which prices converge across India over time. We discuss the implications of this for development organizations and information providers.",
author = "Parker, {Christopher Dalton} and Kamalini Ramdas and Nicos Savva",
year = "2016",
month = "9",
day = "1",
doi = "10.1287/mnsc.2015.2270",
language = "English (US)",
volume = "62",
pages = "2481--2503",
journal = "Management Science",
issn = "0025-1909",
publisher = "INFORMS Inst.for Operations Res.and the Management Sciences",
number = "9",

}

Is it enough? evidence from a natural experiment in India's agriculture markets. / Parker, Christopher Dalton; Ramdas, Kamalini; Savva, Nicos.

In: Management Science, Vol. 62, No. 9, 01.09.2016, p. 2481-2503.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

TY - JOUR

T1 - Is it enough? evidence from a natural experiment in India's agriculture markets

AU - Parker, Christopher Dalton

AU - Ramdas, Kamalini

AU - Savva, Nicos

PY - 2016/9/1

Y1 - 2016/9/1

N2 - Access to information and communication technologies (ICTs) such as mobile phone networks is widely known to improve market efficiency. In this paper, we examine whether access to timely and accurate information provided through ICT applications has any additional impact. Using a detailed data set from Reuters Market Light (RML), a text message service in India that provides daily price information to market participants, we find that this information reduces the geographic price dispersion of crops in rural communities by an average of 12%, over and above access to mobile phone technology and other means of communication. To identify the effect of information on price dispersion, we exploit a natural experiment where bulk text messages were banned unexpectedly across India for 12 days in 2010. We find that besides reducing geographic price dispersion, RML also increases the rate at which prices converge across India over time. We discuss the implications of this for development organizations and information providers.

AB - Access to information and communication technologies (ICTs) such as mobile phone networks is widely known to improve market efficiency. In this paper, we examine whether access to timely and accurate information provided through ICT applications has any additional impact. Using a detailed data set from Reuters Market Light (RML), a text message service in India that provides daily price information to market participants, we find that this information reduces the geographic price dispersion of crops in rural communities by an average of 12%, over and above access to mobile phone technology and other means of communication. To identify the effect of information on price dispersion, we exploit a natural experiment where bulk text messages were banned unexpectedly across India for 12 days in 2010. We find that besides reducing geographic price dispersion, RML also increases the rate at which prices converge across India over time. We discuss the implications of this for development organizations and information providers.

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/record.url?scp=84988664656&partnerID=8YFLogxK

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/citedby.url?scp=84988664656&partnerID=8YFLogxK

U2 - 10.1287/mnsc.2015.2270

DO - 10.1287/mnsc.2015.2270

M3 - Article

VL - 62

SP - 2481

EP - 2503

JO - Management Science

JF - Management Science

SN - 0025-1909

IS - 9

ER -