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Implications of high food prices for poverty in Pakistan

Listed author(s):
  • Zahoor ul Haq
  • Hina Nazli
  • Karl Meilke

The study estimates the impacts of rising world food prices on poverty in rural and urban areas of Pakistan. Household income and expenditure data for 2004/2005 is used to estimate compensated and uncompensated price and expenditure elasticities using the linear approximation of the almost ideal demand system. Taking the unexpected component of higher domestic food prices in 2007/2008, own and cross price compensated elasticities are used to derive the changes in the quantity consumed, food expenditure and impacts on poverty assuming the food crisis happened in 2004/2005. The results indicate that poverty increased by 34.8%, severely affecting the urban areas where poverty increased by 44.6% as compared to 32.5% in rural areas. The estimates show that 2.3 million people are unable to reach even one-half of poverty line expenditures while another 13.7 million are just below and 23.9 million are just above the poverty line. In the short run, it is important to ensure food availability to these people. In the long run, the policy environment of subsidizing urban food consumers by keeping wheat prices lower than the international price, needs to be reconsidered to provide the right incentives to increase food availability. Copyright (c) 2008 International Association of Agricultural Economists.

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Article provided by International Association of Agricultural Economists in its journal Agricultural Economics.

Volume (Year): 39 (2008)
Issue (Month): s1 (November)
Pages: 477-484

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Handle: RePEc:bla:agecon:v:39:y:2008:i:s1:p:477-484
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