Political Economy Analyses of Agricultural Reforms in Malawi


The research project aims at contributing to a better understanding of agricultural policy choices in developing countries. Using agricultural reform processes in Malawi as a case study the focus is placed on examining why agricultural policies that are suboptimal or even contradictory to pro-poor growth have remained widespread and persistent in spite of the changes in economic and political conditions experienced during the past decades. While most currently used political economy approaches model political decision-making as a “black box” assuming a unitary political actor who maximizes a given political preference, voter support, or influence function, the proposed project will explicitly model the political decision-making process in Malawi as an interaction between a set of individual political actors including politicians and stakeholder organizations. The project comprises of 2 work packages: (1)A quantitative policy network study, (2) a simulation study based on a computable general political economy equilibrium model (CGPE).


Project Director:

Prof. Dr. Dr. Christian H.C.A. Henning
Department of Agricultural Economics, University of Kiel, Germany

Dr. Michael Johnson

Prof. Dr. Regina Birner
IFPRI and University of Hohenheim, Germany

Project Assistants:

Dr. Eva Schiffer

Klaus Droppelmann

Noora-Lisa Aberman

Peter Gaff

Eva Krampe
Department of Agricultural Economics, University of Kiel, Germany

Project Partners:

Bunda College, Malawi

Agricultural and Natural Resources Management Consortium, Malawi

Project funding:

International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI), Washington D.C., United States (Malawi Strategy Support Program)

Project duration:



Work Packages

Work package 1:

Policy network study of CADDP in Malawi

Work package 2:

Elite Networks, Policy Belief Formation and Agricultural Policy Design in Malawi: Application of a CGPE Approach