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Food Price Changes and Consumer Welfare in Ghana in the 1990s

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  • Charles Ackah,
  • Simon Appleton

Abstract

In this paper, we analyse the effect of food price changes on household consumption in Ghana during the 1990s and assess the extent to which changes can be explained by trade and agricultural policy reforms. The measurement of the total household welfare effect, one that jointly considers (static) first order effects as well as (dynamic) consumption responses, is the object of this study. Food consumption behaviour in Ghana is analyzed by estimating a complete food demand system using the linear approximate version of the AIDS model with household survey data for 1991/92 and 1998/99. The estimated price elasticities are then utilized to evaluate the distributional impacts of the relative food price changes in terms of compensating variation. The results indicate that the distributional burden of higher food prices fell mainly on the urban poor. While it is difficult to attribute the price changes and by implication the welfare losses, to any particular policy per se, a simulation analysis indicates that trade liberalisation may not have been responsible for the welfare losses. Our simulation exercise suggests that further tariff liberalisation would tend to offset the welfare losses for all households although it is the poor and rural consumers who stand to gain the most.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by University of Nottingham, CREDIT in its series Discussion Papers with number 07/03.

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Handle: RePEc:not:notcre:07/03

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Postal: School of Economics University of Nottingham University Park Nottingham NG7 2RD
Phone: (44) 0115 951 5620
Fax: (0115) 951 4159
Web page: http://www.nottingham.ac.uk/economics/
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Keywords: Food prices; Demand analysis; Consumer behaviour; Welfare; Ghana;

References

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  1. Abbi Mamo Kedir, 2005. "Estimation of Own- and Cross-price Elasticities using Unit Values: Econometric Issues and Evidence from Urban Ethiopia," Journal of African Economies, Centre for the Study of African Economies (CSAE), vol. 14(1), pages 1-20, March.
  2. Jed Friedman & James Levinsohn, 2002. "The Distributional Impacts of Indonesia's Financial Crisis on Household Welfare: A "Rapid Response" Methodology," World Bank Economic Review, World Bank Group, vol. 16(3), pages 397-423, December.
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  16. L. Alan Winters & Neil McCulloch & Andrew McKay, 2004. "Trade Liberalization and Poverty: The Evidence So Far," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 42(1), pages 72-115, March.
  17. Nicita, Alessandro, 2004. "Who benefited from trade liberalization in Mexico? Measuring the effects on household welfare," Policy Research Working Paper Series 3265, The World Bank.
  18. Ravallion, Martin & van de Walle, Dominique, 1991. "The impact on poverty of food pricing reforms: A welfare analysis for Indonesia," Journal of Policy Modeling, Elsevier, vol. 13(2), pages 281-299.
  19. Deaton, Angus, 1989. "Rice Prices and Income Distribution in Thailand: A Non-parametric Analysis," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 99(395), pages 1-37, Supplemen.
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Cited by:
  1. Nora Lustig, 2009. "Coping with Rising Food Prices: Policy Dilemmas in the Developing World," Working Papers 0907, Tulane University, Department of Economics.
  2. S├ębastien Dessus & Santiago Herrera & Rafael de Hoyos, 2008. "The impact of food inflation on urban poverty and its monetary cost: some back-of-the-envelope calculations," Agricultural Economics, International Association of Agricultural Economists, vol. 39(s1), pages 417-429, November.

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