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Type: Journal article
Title: The intersection of trade policy, price volatility, and food security
Author: Anderson, K.
Citation: Annual Review of Resource Economics, 2014; 6(1):513-532
Publisher: Annual Reviews
Issue Date: 2014
ISSN: 1941-1340
Editor: Rausser, G.C.
Statement of
Kym Anderson
Abstract: The volatility of food prices has always concerned national governments, especially those of open developing economies, as it undermines their perceived national food security. A common policy approach has been to partially insulate their domestic market from international food price fluctuations by varying restrictions on their imports or exports. Unfortunately, such domestic stabilization measures amplify international price fluctuations. This article explains conceptually, and illustrates empirically, how insulation measures do little to advance national food security and collectively imperil global food security. Many countries also intervene to alter the trend level of domestic farm product prices, again most commonly with the use of trade restrictions. The latter policies have the unintended consequence of thinning international food markets, adding to their volatility. The article concludes by pointing to alternative ways for governments to boost food security for vulnerable households; such alternatives have become far more feasible in recent times, thanks to the information and communication technology revolution.
Keywords: food price spikes; domestic market insulation; real per capita food consumption; trade-restricting food policies
Description: First published online as a Review in Advance on August 13, 2014
Rights: Copyright © 2014 by Annual Reviews. All rights reserved
DOI: 10.1146/annurev-resource-100913-012600
Appears in Collections:Aurora harvest 7
Economics publications

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