Buffer Stock Operations and Well-Being: The Case of Smallholder Farmers in Ghana

Emmanuel Abokyi*, Dirk Strijker, Kofi Fred Asiedu, Michiel N. Daams

*Corresponding author for this work

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This study investigates the possible causal relationship between buffer stock operations in Ghanaian agriculture and the well-being of smallholder farmers in a developing world setting. We analyze the differences in the objective and subjective well-being of smallholder farmers who do or do not participate in a buffer stock price stabilization policy initiative, using self-reported assessments of 507 farmers. We adopt a two-stage least square instrumental variable estimation to account for possible endogeneity. Our results provide evidence that participation in buffer stock operations improves the objective and subjective well-being of smallholder farmers by 20% and 15%, respectively. Also, with estimated coefficient of 1.033, we find a significant and robust relationship between objective well-being and subjective well-being among smallholder farmers. This relationship implies that improving objective well-being enhances the subjective well-being of the farmers. We also find that the activities of intermediaries decrease both the objective and subjective well-being of farmers. This study demonstrates that economic, social, and environmental aspects of agricultural life could constitute priorities for public policy in improving well-being, given their strong correlation with the well-being of farmers. Based on the results of this study, we provide a better understanding, which may aid policy-makers, that public buffer stockholding operations policy is a viable tool for improving the well-being of smallholder farmers in a developing country.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)125–148
Number of pages24
JournalJournal of Happiness Studies
Issue number1
Early online date16-Apr-2021
Publication statusPublished - Jan-2022


  • Buffer stock operations
  • Objective well-being
  • Subjective well-being
  • Smallholder farmers
  • Instrumental variable
  • Ghana

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