To insure that marketing services are provided as efficiently
as possible is of obvious importance to the consuming public.
Efficiency in this sense is to be judged by the extent to which
firms in the marketing sector 1) make full and effective use of
the facilities and resources they command, 2) are organized
(institutionally and spatially) to take the maximum feasible
advantage of scale economies, and 3) are technologically
progressive. Excess profits and excess promotional expenditures
should be eliminated, prices should be reflective of appropriate
grades and standards, and price changes should be transmitted
with a minimum of delay.
It is apparently less obvious that the marketing sector can
have significant impacts on the farming sector, or that the
marketing sector can contribute to (or detract from) the
development objectives of society. In this paper I have used two
rather general, albeit simplified, models to study the nature of
some of these impacts and contributions. it seems quite clear
that marketing and marketing policy are much too important to
developing countries to be ignored!
The models presented here were intended to be illustrative
rather than final. They obviously require further modification
before being applied to any specific situation. They are static in
nature so they cannot treat dynamic or temporal issues. They
are "partial" equilibrium models so the results must be
interpreted, in some cases at least, conditional upon further
investigation. They rest on perfectly competitive ideals.
Despite their limitation, models such as these provide the
researcher a useful framework within which to analyze policy
options in an objective way, and thus to be of real assistance to
policy-makers. Too often marketing economists are content to
count firms and categorize them along the pure competition
-monopoly continuum, and to pictorially describe marketing
channels. While this type of work can be useful in providing
background information, it is rarely helpful in analyzing policy
options or assessing market performance. For the latter a
normative framework encompassing the basic relationships of the
real world is necessary so that the existing system can be
judged by standards of socially desirable results.