Testing Onion Market Integration in Pakistan

Spatial market integration of agricultural products has been widely used to indicate overall market performance [Faminow and Benson (1990)]. In spatially integrated markets, competition among arbitragers will ensure that a unique equilibrium is achieved where local prices in regional markets differ by no more than transportation and transaction costs. Information of spatial market integration, thus, provides indication of competitiveness, the effectiveness of arbitrage, and the efficiency of pricing [Sexton, et al. (1991)]. If price changes in one market are fully reflected in alternative market, these markets are said to be spatially integrated [Goodwin and Schroeder (1991)]. Prices in spatially integrated markets are determined simultaneously in various locations, and information of any change in price in one market is transmitted to other markets [Gonzalez-Rivera and Helfand (2001)]. Markets that are not integrated may convey inaccurate price signal that might distort producers marketing decisions and contribute to inefficient product movement [Goodwin and Schroeder (1991)], and traders may exploit the market and benefit at the cost of producers and consumers. In more integrated markets, farmers specialise in production activities in which they are comparatively proficient, consumers pay lower prices for purchased goods, and society is better able to reap increasing returns from technological innovations and economies of scale [Vollrath (2003)].