Did trade-policy responses to food-price spikes reduce poverty?

Kym Anderson, Maros Ivanic , Will Martin 03 August 2013

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Food prices in international markets have spiked three times in the past five years: in mid-2008, early 2011 and mid-2012 (Figure 1). The first prompted urban riots in dozens of developing countries when rice prices more than doubled. It may even have contributed to the unrest that led to the Arab Spring.

Figure 1. Monthly real food price indexes in international markets, 2000 to June 2013 (2002-04 = 100)

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Topics:  Development International trade

Tags:  trade policy, Poverty, food prices

Using water resources efficiently on a global scale

Peter Debaere 22 August 2012

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As the severe drought in key US farming states continues, worries mount over rising food prices. This recent drought is but one of many events that underscore how freshwater scarcity will be a major challenge of the 21st century. Almost one fifth of the world’s population currently suffers the consequences of water scarcity, and this number is expected to increase (UNESCO 2009). Moreover, population growth, pollution, rising standards of living, and the diet and lifestyle changes they imply will continue to increase the demand for water and strain available water resources.

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Topics:  Environment International trade

Tags:  water, food prices, global resources

Agricultural trade distortions during the global financial crisis

Kym Anderson, Signe Nelgen,

Date Published

Sun, 08/12/2012

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Export policy and food price escalation

Nadia Rocha, Paolo Giordani, Michele Ruta 09 May 2012

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International food prices have been a key policy concern in recent times (Evenett and Jenny 2012). Figure 1 shows why. During the periods 2006-7 and 2008-10, international food prices shot up by well over 50%. If we compare these prices with those of the last two decades, the label ‘food crises’ does not seem overblown.

Figure 1. International food prices 1990-2010

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Topics:  International trade

Tags:  food prices, protectionism, export policy, food crises

Trade, Competition, and the Pricing of Commodities

Simon J Evenett, Frédéric Jenny,

Date Published

Wed, 02/15/2012

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Trade, Competition, and the Pricing of Commodities

Edited by Simon J. Evenett and Frédéric Jenny

15 February 2012

Download the PDF here.

 

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WTO, Commodity prices, food prices, Cartels, CEPR, CUTS

Soaring food and fuel prices: Their impact on public finances and other causes of persistently high consumer price inflation in North African and Middle Eastern countries

Marga Peeters, Ronald Albers 23 February 2011

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Just before the global crisis struck in September 2008, food and fuel prices soared, pushing up inflation in most countries (see for example, Tangermann 2008 and Conceição and Mendoza 2009 on this site). The impact was particularly large in North Africa and the Middle East (such as Algeria, Tunisia, Libya, Egypt, Israel, Jordan, Palestinian territories and Syria) where food constitutes a large share of consumer spending.

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Topics:  Energy Health economics International trade

Tags:  food prices, food crisis, Middle East, North Africa, fuel prices

Global food prices and inflation targeting

Luis AV Catão, Roberto Chang 27 January 2011

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The uneven recovery in advanced countries is hiding an issue that, while off the agenda in the last G20 meeting back in November, is arguably no less urgent for the global economy – namely, the rise in food prices.

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Topics:  International trade Monetary policy

Tags:  inflation, inflation targeting, food prices

Food Prices and Rural Poverty

M. Ataman Aksoy, Bernard Hoekman,

Date Published

Fri, 10/08/2010

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Food Prices and Rural Poverty is available to order from the CEPR website at http://www.cepr.org/pubs/books/cepr/booklist.asp?cvno=P212

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Poverty, commodities, food prices, World Bank, world trade

Reducing trade distortions could ease food price volatility

Kym Anderson 13 November 2009

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Every decade or two, food becomes newsworthy globally. Mostly it is because of a price spike, either downwards (hurting farmers in open economies, as in 1986) or upwards (hurting food consumers, as in 1973 and 2008).

Most such price spikes are a consequence of major policy shifts, since demand does not change rapidly and local weather-induced supply shocks tend to offset each other in a many-country trading world. In 1986, for example, it was the food export subsidy war between Western Europe and the US that drove real international food prices to their lowest level since 1930.

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Topics:  International trade

Tags:  trade policy, food prices, agriculture liberalisation

Are policymakers better equipped for the next food price crisis?

José Cuesta 07 August 2009

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It is extremely difficult to predict when a crisis will start or end. Even though there might be a consensus regarding its causes (Abbot et. al. 2009), there is typically less agreement on which one(s) dominate(s) and, consequently, which measures will effectively tackle them. That applies to crises from the global financial panic to swine flu and certainly includes the food price crisis.

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Topics:  Development Global economy

Tags:  food prices, crisis intervention, food price crisis

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