Food Security and Economic Growth: An Asian Perspective
AbstractFood security is an elusive concept. Many economists doubt that it has any precise meaning at all. Having enough to eat on a regular basis, however, is a powerful human need, and satisfying this need drives household behavior in both private and public markets in predictable ways. Indeed, the historical record suggests that policy initiatives by central governments to satisfy this need for food security—at the level of both households and national markets—can speed economic growth in countries where a substantial proportion of the population does not get enough to eat. Paradoxically, in most successfully developing countries, especially those in the rice-based economies of Asia, the public provision of food security quickly slips from its essential role as an economic stimulus into a political response to the pressures of rapid structural transformation, thereby becoming a drag on economic efficiency. The long-run relationship between food security and economic growth thus tends to switch from positive to negative over the course of development. Because of inevitable inertia in the design and implementation of public policy, this switch presents a serious challenge to the design of an appropriate food policy.
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Bibliographic InfoPaper provided by Center for Global Development in its series Working Papers with number 51.
Length: 24 pages
Date of creation: Dec 2004
Date of revision:
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Web page: http://www.cgdev.org
Food security; democracy; foreign assistance; economic development;
Other versions of this item:
- C. Peter Timmer, 2005. "Food Security and Economic Growth: an Asian perspective," Asian-Pacific Economic Literature, Asia Pacific School of Economics and Government, The Australian National University, vol. 19(2), pages 1-17, 05.
- D13 - Microeconomics - - Household Behavior - - - Household Production and Intrahouse Allocation
- Q18 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Agriculture - - - Agricultural Policy; Food Policy
- I31 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Welfare, Well-Being, and Poverty - - - General Welfare, Well-Being
This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:
- NEP-ALL-2006-08-26 (All new papers)
- NEP-DEV-2006-08-26 (Development)
- NEP-SEA-2006-08-26 (South East Asia)
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- Marks, Daan, 2010. "Unity or diversity? On the integration and efficiency of rice markets in Indonesia, c. 1920-2006," Explorations in Economic History, Elsevier, vol. 47(3), pages 310-324, July.
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