Infrastructure improvements and maize market integration
Bridging the Zambezi in Mozambique
Historically, transport infrastructure connecting the most agriculturally productive areas of Mozambique and the richer southern region has been poor. A primary bottleneck was an unreliable ferry service over the Zambezi river, addressed by construction of a road bridge in 2009.
In this study we identify the impact of this transport infrastructure enhancement on integration of national maize markets. Applying a dyadic regression approach, we find a significant narrowing of equilibrium price differences among market pairs that experienced a large relative reduction in journey times due to the new bridge.
We also estimate that the elasticity of the absolute price differential with respect to intermarket driving times is around 30%. As such, the new bridge infrastructure enhanced market integration by shrinking the “internal border” at the river, but such benefits were spatially limited.