IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/
MyIDEAS: Login to save this article or follow this journal

The geography and causes of food insecurity in developing countries

  • Smith, Lisa C.
  • El Obeid, Amani E.
  • Jensen, Helen H.

At the 1996 World Food Summit, 186 countries made a commitment to reduce the number of chronically undernourished people by half by 2015. In order to formulate effective policies for reaching this goal, a thorough understanding of the location and causes of food insecurity is needed. This paper provides a broad overview of the current character of food insecurity in developing countries, focusing on two questions: (1) Why are they food insecure? and (2) Why are the food insecure? To answer the latter question data from 58 developing countries with high prevalences of food insecurity are employed to examine the relative importance of two of food insecurity's most basic causes: national food availability and the inability of people to access food due to poverty. Using child malnutrition as a proxy (along with descriptive controls for non-food determinants of malnutrition), the paper finds little correlation between national food availabilities and food insecurity. The group of countries that exhibit the highest severity of food insecurity are those with high poverty and food (dietary energy) surpluses, consistent with the view that poverty is the most widespread cause of food insecurity in the 1990s. The paper concludes by considering the implications of the analysis for appropriate geographical and policy targeting to improve food security for the greatest numbers of people at the fastest pace, now and into the 21st century.© 2000 Elsevier Science B.V. All rights reserved.

(This abstract was borrowed from another version of this item.)

If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.

File URL: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/B6T3V-3YN91XT-B/2/40cdb072d2f6b7265e0d35ec9f6a50a1
Download Restriction: Full text for ScienceDirect subscribers only

As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to look for a different version under "Related research" (further below) or search for a different version of it.

Article provided by Blackwell in its journal Agricultural Economics.

Volume (Year): 22 (2000)
Issue (Month): 2 (March)
Pages: 199-215

as
in new window

Handle: RePEc:eee:agecon:v:22:y:2000:i:2:p:199-215
Contact details of provider: Web page: http://www.blackwell-synergy.com/loi/agec

References listed on IDEAS
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:

as in new window
  1. Haddad, Lawrence & Bhattarai, Saroj & Immink, Maarten & Kumar, Shubh, 1998. "Estimating the interactions between household food security and preschool diarrhea," Food Policy, Elsevier, vol. 23(3-4), pages 241-261, November.
  2. Ruel, Marie T. & Garrett, James L. & Morris, Saul Sutkover & Maxwell, Daniel G. & Oshaug, Arne & Engle, Patrice L. & Menon, Purnima & Slack, Alison T. & Haddad, Lawrence James, 1998. "Urban challenges to food and nutrition security," FCND discussion papers 51, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).
  3. Simon Maxwell, 1996. "Review article: perspectives on a new world food crisis," Journal of International Development, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 8(6), pages 859-867.
  4. Elobeid, Amani & Johnson, Stanley R. & Jensen, Helen H. & Smith, Lisa C., 1999. "Food Security: New Solutions for the Twenty-First Century," Staff General Research Papers 1653, Iowa State University, Department of Economics.
  5. Smith, Lisa C. & Naiken, Logan, 1998. "Can FAO's measure of chronic undernourishment be strengthened?," FCND discussion papers 44, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).
  6. Maxwell, Daniel G., 1996. "Measuring food insecurity: the frequency and severity of "coping strategies"," Food Policy, Elsevier, vol. 21(3), pages 291-303, July.
  7. Maxwell, Simon, 1996. "Food security: a post-modern perspective," Food Policy, Elsevier, vol. 21(2), pages 155-170, May.
  8. Ravallion, Martin & Chen, Shaohua, 1997. "What Can New Survey Data Tell Us about Recent Changes in Distribution and Poverty?," World Bank Economic Review, World Bank Group, vol. 11(2), pages 357-82, May.
  9. Smith, Lisa C., 1998. "Can FAO's measure of chronic undernourishment be strengthened?," Food Policy, Elsevier, vol. 23(5), pages 425-445, October.
Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:eee:agecon:v:22:y:2000:i:2:p:199-215. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Zhang, Lei)

If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.

If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

This information is provided to you by IDEAS at the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis using RePEc data.