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Rising food prices and household welfare : evidence from Brazil in 2008

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  • Ferreira, Francisco H. G.
  • Fruttero, Anna
  • Leite, Phillippe
  • Lucchetti, Leonardo

Abstract

Food price inflation in Brazil in the twelve months to June 2008 was 18 percent, while overall inflation was seven percent. Using spatially disaggregated monthly data on consumer prices and two different household surveys, we estimate the welfare consequences of these food price increases, and their distribution across households. Because Brazil is a large food producer, with a predominantly wage-earning agricultural labor force, our estimates include general equilibrium effects on market and transfer incomes, as well as the standard estimates of changes in consumer surplus. While the expenditure (or consumer surplus) effects were large, negative and markedly regressive everywhere, the market income effect was positive and progressive, particularly in rural areas. Because of this effect on the rural poor, and of the partial protection afforded by increases in two large social assistance benefits, the overall impact of higher food prices in Brazil was U-shaped, with middle-income groups suffering larger proportional losses than the very poor. Nevertheless, since Brazil is 80 percent urban, higher food prices still led to a greater incidence and depth of poverty at the national level.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by The World Bank in its series Policy Research Working Paper Series with number 5652.

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Date of creation: 01 May 2011
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Handle: RePEc:wbk:wbrwps:5652

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Keywords: Rural Poverty Reduction; Markets and Market Access; Food&Beverage Industry; Regional Economic Development;

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  1. 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.
  2. Deaton, Angus, 1990. "Price elasticities from survey data : Extensions and Indonesian results," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 44(3), pages 281-309, June.
  3. Anton Korinek & Johan Mistiaen & Martin Ravallion, 2006. "Survey nonresponse and the distribution of income," Journal of Economic Inequality, Springer, vol. 4(1), pages 33-55, April.
  4. Ferreira, Francisco H. G. & Leite, Phillippe G. & Ravallion, Martin, 2007. "Poverty reduction without economic growth ? explaining Brazil's poverty dynamics, 1985-2004," Policy Research Working Paper Series 4431, The World Bank.
  5. 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.
  6. 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.
  7. Fabio Veras Soares & Sergei Suarez Dillon Soares & Marcelo Medeiros & Rafael Guerreiro Osório, 2006. "Cash Transfer Programmes in Brazil: Impacts on Inequality and Poverty," Working Papers 21, International Policy Centre for Inclusive Growth.
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Cited by:
  1. Sakai, Yoko & Estudillo, Jonna P. & Fuwa, Nobuhiko & Higuchi, Yuki & Sawada, Yasuyuki, 2012. "Do Natural Disasters Affect the Poor Disproportionately? The Case of Typhoon Milenyo in the Rural Philippines," PRIMCED Discussion Paper Series 31, Institute of Economic Research, Hitotsubashi University.
  2. Alderman, Harold, 2014. "Can transfer programs be made more nutrition sensitive?:," IFPRI discussion papers 1342, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).
  3. Lederman, Daniel & Porto, Guido, 2014. "The price is not always right : on the impacts of (commodity) prices on households (and countries)," Policy Research Working Paper Series 6858, The World Bank.
  4. Khandker, Shahidur R. & Koolwal, Gayatri B. & Haughtonm Jonathan & Jitsuchon, Somchai, 2012. "Household coping and response to government stimulus in an economic crisis : evidence from Thailand," Policy Research Working Paper Series 6016, The World Bank.
  5. repec:fpr:export:1342 is not listed on IDEAS

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