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Potential impact of higher food prices on poverty : summary estimates for a dozen west and central African countries

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  • Wodon, Quentin
  • Tsimpo, Clarence
  • Backiny-Yetna, Prospere
  • Joseph, George
  • Adoho, Franck
  • Coulombe, Harold

Abstract

Concerns have been raised about the impact of rising food prices worldwide on the poor. To assess the impact of rising food prices in any particular country it is necessary to look at both the impact on food producers who are poor or near-poor and could benefit from an increase in prices and food consumers who are poor or near-poor and would looseout when the price increases. In most West and Central African countries, the sign (positive or negative) of the impact is not ambiguous because a substantial share of food consumption is imported, so that the negative impact for consumers is larger than the positive impact for net sellers of locally produced foods. Yet even if the sign of the impact is clear, its magnitude is not. Using a set of recent and comprehensive household surveys, this paper summarizes findings from an assessment of the potential impact of higher food prices on the poor in a dozen countries. Rising food prices for rice, wheat, maize, and other cereals as well as for milk, sugar and vegetable oils could lead to a substantial increase in poverty in many of the countries. At the same time, the data suggest that the magnitude of the increase in poverty between different countries is likely to be different. Finally, the data suggest that a large share of the increase in poverty will consist of deeper levels of poverty among households who are already poor, even if there will also be a larger number of poor households in the various countries.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by The World Bank in its series Policy Research Working Paper Series with number 4745.

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Date of creation: 01 Oct 2008
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Handle: RePEc:wbk:wbrwps:4745

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Related research

Keywords: Rural Poverty Reduction; Food&Beverage Industry; Population Policies; Poverty Lines;

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References

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  1. 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.
  2. Klugman, Jeni & Loening, Josef, 2007. "Welfare Impacts of Food Price Inflation in Ethiopia," MPRA Paper 24892, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  3. Quentin Wodon & Hassan Zaman, 2010. "Higher Food Prices in Sub-Saharan Africa: Poverty Impact and Policy Responses," World Bank Research Observer, World Bank Group, vol. 25(1), pages 157-176, February.
  4. Christiaensen, Luc & Scott, Christopher & Wodon, Quentin, 2002. "Poverty Measurement and Analysis," MPRA Paper 45362, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  5. Ivanic, Maros & Martin, Will, 2008. "Implications of higher global food prices for poverty in low-income countries," Policy Research Working Paper Series 4594, The World Bank.
  6. Christopher B. Barrett & Paul A. Dorosh, 1996. "Farmers' Welfare and Changing Food Prices: Nonparametric Evidence from Rice in Madagascar," American Journal of Agricultural Economics, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 78(3), pages 656-669.
  7. Luc Christiaensen & Lionel Demery, 2007. "Down to Earth : Agriculture and Poverty Reduction in Africa," World Bank Publications, The World Bank, number 6624.
  8. C. Peter Timmer & David Dawe, 2007. "Managing Food Price Instability in Asia: A Macro Food Security Perspective ," Asian Economic Journal, East Asian Economic Association, vol. 21(1), pages 1-18, 03.
  9. Warr, Peter G., 2005. "Food policy and poverty in Indonesia: a general equilibrium analysis," Australian Journal of Agricultural and Resource Economics, Australian Agricultural and Resource Economics Society, vol. 49(4), December.
  10. Nicholas Minot & Francesco Goletti, 1998. "Export Liberalization and Household Welfare: The Case of Rice in Vietnam," American Journal of Agricultural Economics, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 80(4), pages 738-749.
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