André Bueno Rezende de Castro

Research themes
  • Institutions
  • Growth, inequality and poverty
  • Global development and trade
  • Development Politics
  • Food and nutrition
  • Macroeconomic Issues
  • Innovation and science policy
Research countries
  • Brazil
  • Tanzania
  • Uganda
Research projects

Team member of the research group "Volatility in commodity markets, trade policy and the poor"

Additional Information:

10/2017 - 10/2019: Country Economist at the International Growth Centre (IGC), from the London School of Economics (LSE), in Tanzania

10/2015 - 10/2017: ODI Fellow at the Ministry of Finance, Planning and Economic Development of Uganda (Overseas Development Institute)

2014-15: MSc Globalisation and Development, University of Manchester, UK

2012-13: Graduate Diploma in Economics, Birkbeck College, University of London, UK

2008-12: BSc Economics, University of São Paulo, Brazil


Development Economics

Funding institutions


Fiat Panis Stiftung

Thesis title

The role of transaction costs in strengthening agricultural market linkages to achieve higher welfare in Tanzania

Thesis abstract

This dissertation is written with a specific country focus, Tanzania, which is a post-socialist country in East Africa that had its economy liberalized and is characterized by the predominance of non-commercialized (or partly commercialized) smallholder farming, severe infrastructural constraints that thwart market access, and high levels of food insecurity and poor nutrition that are reflections of the still high prevalent poverty rates. The stark differences in living standards between a low-income country (LIC), such as Tanzania, are partly explained by productivity differentials. The focus of this dissertation is on the role that high transaction costs (TCs) play as a key factor of low relative productivity in agriculture of LICs, which is still the main economic sector in employment and exports. This study has the overarching objective to investigate the role of the agro-processing sector as a pathway for industrialization and as a way out of poverty for smallholder farmers as well as the rural and urban workforces in Tanzania. The connections between smallholder farmers and the agro-processing sector and the potential of such market linkages for higher income generation, better food security, and an agro-processing-based industrialization is then investigated from three different angles. The underlying conceptual framework has three main axis of interconnections in which TCs are important that are studied in depth by the analytical chapters: agro-processing firms, the rural economy, and the global economy. It connects the supplying farmers’ side, the embeddedness of agro-processing firms in the global value chains (GVCs), and the political framework enabling it. The first analytical chapter utilizes representative country-level secondary data and looks into the farmers’ side and analyzes the impact of two types of vertical market linkages on farmers’ incomes, poverty, maize yields and commercialization, food security, dietary diversity, and subjective well-being. It and primary data sources. The methodology employs propensity score matching (PSM) in each separate survey wave to address farmers’ selection bias, in tandem with panel data econometrics techniques to account for household fixed effects. The second chapter utilizes primary data collected from fieldwork carried out with semi-structured interviews with farmers, firms, and policymakers in Tanzania in early 2022. The objective is to tease out the effect of cashew nuts contract farming participation on smallholders’ output, incomes, poverty, and food security whereby the methodology employs PSM with the inverse-probability weighted regression adjustment (IPWRA) as robustness check to partially control for selection bias, in conjunction with an instrumental variables approach to account for reverse causality and omitted variable bias. Lastly, the third analytical chapter differs by using a cross-country data set merged with international trade databases in order to estimate a gravity model that seeks to understand if the digitalization of trade and customs procedures and bureaucracies increase bilateral agrifood trade. We find that this effect is not only statistically significant, but also the magnitudes are non-trivial, and increase for a sub-sample of both processed products as well as Asian and Sub-Saharan African countries. All in all, the research questions proposed enable a better understanding of the key role that TCs play in the inter-linkages between agro-processing firms and smallholder farmers. The main contribution of this dissertation increases the knowledge in the fields of agricultural and development economics. This study then closes with by providing targeted policy recommendations based on the empirical results.

Doctoral research funded by

DAAD Scholarship for Development-Related Postgraduate Courses, funded by The Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ), Germany

Fiat Panis Stiftung

Advisor at ZEF

Prof. Dr. Joachim von Braun

Dr. Lukas Kornher


Bueno Rezende de Castro, A., A. Ortega Sandoval, G. Odamtten.  2022.  Up around the bend? How transport poverty can lead to social exclusion in a low-income community in Lagos, Nigeria.  Journal of Transport Geography, Vol. 102   . Further Information


Saha, Amrita, Bueno Rezende de Castro, André; Carreras, Marco; Guariso, Daniele.  2020.  Trade, technology, and absorptive capacity: Firm-level evidence across geographical clusters in the Tanzanian textiles and apparel sector.  (Misc. WIDER Working Paper 2020/96) 28 (Open Acess) Further Information
Saha, Amrita; Bueno Rezende de Castro, André; Guariso, Daniele; Shepherd, Ben.  2020.  Technology demand and the role of South-South trade in Tanzania’s textiles and apparel: Examining linkages with India.  Further Information


Guadagno, Francesca; Bueno Rezende de Castro, André; Wangwe, Samuel; Delera, Michele.  2019.  Horticulture, and wood and furniture industries in Tanzania: Performance, challenges and potential policy approaches.  Download [PDF | 938.30KB]
Further Information


Saha, Amrita; Bueno Rezende de Castro, André; Carreras, Marco; Guariso, Daniele.  Trade, technology demand and linkages: opportunities and challenges in the Tanzanian textiles and garments sector.  In: Oliver Morrissey, Joseph Semboja, Maureen Were (eds.): Sustainability of Economic Development in Tanzania. Oxford University Press.  
Saha, Amrita; Bueno Rezende de Castro, André; Guariso, Daniele.  Technology and the role of South-South trade in Tanzania’s textiles and apparel.  European Journal of Development Research, .

Additionals, Curriculum Vitae
and Downloads

André Bueno Rezende de Castro

Junior Researcher

Department :
ZEF B: Department of Economic and Technological Change

andre.castro(at); brcandre1(at)