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Prospects for global food security: a critical appraisal of past projections and predictions

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Author Info

  • McCalla, Alex F
  • Revoredo, Cesar L.

Abstract

During the last half century, a number of individuals and institutions, including the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) and IFPRI, have engaged in projections of future food demand, supply, and related variables. In this brief, Alex McCalla and Cesar Revoredo compare projections with real-life outcomes. Projections forecast outcomes on the basis of certain underlying factors. If such forecasted outcomes are undesirable, changes may be made in the underlying factors so that the projections may not, in fact, come to pass. Many projections serve this precise goal. Therefore, the success of projections may not be that they match actual outcomes but that they avoid such outcomes by promoting action to change underlying variables. Unlike predictions, which are successful only if they match actual outcomes, projections that differ from actual outcomes may reflect either poor projection models or changes in underlying variables, possibly caused by the projections themselves.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI) in its series 2020 vision discussion papers with number 35.

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Date of creation: 2001
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Handle: RePEc:fpr:2020dp:35

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Related research

Keywords: Food consumption.; Food security.;

References

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  1. Nordhaus, William D, 1973. "World Dynamics: Measurement Without Data," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 83(332), pages 1156-83, December.
  2. Leontief, Wassily, 1977. "The future of the world economy+," Socio-Economic Planning Sciences, Elsevier, vol. 11(3), pages 171-182.
  3. Johnson, D. Gale, 1975. "World Food Problems," Northeastern Journal of Agricultural and Resource Economics, Northeastern Agricultural and Resource Economics Association, vol. 4(2:), October.
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Cited by:
  1. Toma, Luiza & Ashworth, Cheryl J. & Stott, Alistair W., 2008. "A Partial Equilibrium Model Of The Linkages Between Animal Welfare, Trade And The Environment In Scotland," 109th Seminar, November 20-21, 2008, Viterbo, Italy 44825, European Association of Agricultural Economists.
  2. Achterbosch, Thom J. & Dopfer, Dorte D.V., 2006. "Cattle trade and the risk of importing animal diseases into the Netherlands," Report Series 29089, Agricultural Economics Research Institute.
  3. B. Bala & M. Hossain, 2010. "Modeling of food security and ecological footprint of coastal zone of Bangladesh," Environment, Development and Sustainability, Springer, vol. 12(4), pages 511-529, August.
  4. Toma, Luiza & Mathijs, Erik & Revoredo-Giha, Cesar, 2006. "Linkages between Agriculture, Trade and the Environment in the Context of the European Union Accession," Working Papers 45991, Scotland's Rural College (formerly Scottish Agricultural College), Land Economy & Environment Research Group.
  5. O'Neill, Brian C. & Desai, Mausami, 2005. "Accuracy of past projections of US energy consumption," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 33(8), pages 979-993, May.
  6. Patrick Webb, 2002. "The Dynamics of Food, Nutrition and Poverty in SE Asia," Working Papers in Food Policy and Nutrition 09, Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy.

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