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Poverty and Price Transmission

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  • Christian Elleby

    () (Department of Food and Resource Economics, University of Copenhagen)

Abstract

A key parameter determining the welfare impact from a world market shock is the transmission elasticity which measures the average domestic response to an international price change. Many studies have estimated price transmission elasticities for a large number of countries but the variation in these estimates is so far largely unexplored. This paper proposes a model which explains a country's domestic price response to world market shocks in terms of its demand structure. The model delivers two testable predictions; price transmission is increasing in per capita food expenditure and in income inequality. The empirical analysis of price changes during the food crises confirms these predictions with a caveat. I find significant inverse U-shaped relationships between domestic food price growth in 2007-8 and 2010-11 and per capita food expenditure. Unequal countries also experienced higher price growth but the relationship is less significant. The finding that food prices in middle-income countries increased the most during the food crises is a cause for concern in light of the fact that the majority of the world's poor today live in middle-income countries.

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  • Christian Elleby, 2014. "Poverty and Price Transmission," IFRO Working Paper 2015/01, University of Copenhagen, Department of Food and Resource Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:foi:wpaper:2015_01
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    Keywords

    Price transmission; Food crisis; Food prices; Non-homothetic preferences; Income distribution;

    JEL classification:

    • D11 - Microeconomics - - Household Behavior - - - Consumer Economics: Theory
    • D31 - Microeconomics - - Distribution - - - Personal Income and Wealth Distribution
    • Q11 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Agriculture - - - Aggregate Supply and Demand Analysis; Prices
    • Q12 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Agriculture - - - Micro Analysis of Farm Firms, Farm Households, and Farm Input Markets

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