Should Costa Rica's grain markets be liberalized?
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Government interventions have distorted the major grain markets in Costa Rica since the 1940s. While Initially intended to achieve price stabilization and food security goals, especially for the poor, these intervention policies have become less relevant today given much higher per capita incomes, improved rural infrastructure and transport systems, and ready access to world markets. This paper shows that significant national economic savings could be achieved if the grain markets were liberalized. Moreover, since current policies are shown to transfer income from consumers and poor farmers to large-scale rice farmers, market liberalization would in most cases assist rather than hurt the poor.
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