Theses and Dissertations

Issuing Body

Mississippi State University


Coatney, Kalyn T.

Committee Member

Harri, Ardian

Committee Member

Coble, Keith H.

Committee Member

Barnett, Barry J.

Committee Member

Tack, Jesse B.

Date of Degree


Document Type

Graduate Thesis - Open Access


Agricultural Economics

Degree Name

Master of Science


College of Agriculture and Life Sciences


Department of Agricultural Economics


The study analyzes the effects of three maize market policies on strategic price volatility, oligopoly/oligopsony market power, distribution of market surplus and total welfare. Policies of interest are privatization, the Current Malawi government policy and a proposed policy. The study first develops a workable theory then tests the various government policies in laboratory market experiments. The laboratory results indicate that the proposed policy was the most effective in reducing strategic volatility, but resulted in high output and low input prices. In terms of welfare distribution, privatization had highest consumer surplus followed by the current policy. The same was the case with producers’ surplus. However, traders’ profits were substantially higher in the proposed policy treatment. Total welfare was highest in the proposed policy followed by the current policy. In all, there appears there can be significant policy tradeoffs between market volatility, market power, surplus distribution and total welfare.