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Wageningen University (2009)

Better together : the effect of coalition forming of the bargaining power of gum Arabic harvesters Senegal

Hamelink, J.

Titre : Better together : the effect of coalition forming of the bargaining power of gum Arabic harvesters Senegal

Auteur : Hamelink, J.

Université de soutenance : Wageningen University

Grade : Master of Science (MS) 2009

Résumé
This research studies the effect of coalition forming on the bargaining power of gum arabic harvesters in Senegal. Due to decreasing producer prices, the annual volume of gum arabic produced in Senegal has decreased of the last few years. As the world market is characterized by a demand surplus, this drop in producer prices suggests a poor bargaining situation of the gum arabic harvesters in Senegal. This research tries to analyze how coalition forming can improve the bargaining power and outcome of the gum arabic harvesters in Senegal. In order to shed light on this issue, this research uses a combination of interviews, questionnaires and simulation games. The interviews aim to gain insight into the only existing gum arabic cooperative in Senegal. The questionnaires are supposed to generate information on the current situation of the gum arabic harvesters in Senegal. The simulation games are divided into two sub-games. The first sub-game addresses the bargaining power of the players, whereas the second sub-game aims at the process of coalition forming. The data from the questionnaires suggests that the harvesters are currently being marginalized by the few traders that visit their spot market. The data from the interview suggests that a farmer’s coalition can lead to a higher producer’s price for the harvesters. The data from the simulation games also suggests an increase in bargaining outcome for harvesters inside a coalition. Therefore, this study suggests that gum arabic harvesters in Senegal can increase their bargaining outcome by forming coalitions. However, the generalizability of the data from the simulation games is disputable. The nature of a simulation game is artificial and it cannot be proven that the game measures the behavior that the players would show in real life. Moreover, the design of the game and the limited sample size, affect the generalizability even more.

Mots clés : gum arabic / cooperatives / cooperative bargaining / cooperation / simulation / producer prices / senegal / developing countries / west africa / development economics / gaming simulation

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