IDEAS home Printed from
   My bibliography  Save this paper

Characterizing food prices in India


  • Andaleeb Rahman

    () (Indira Gandhi Institute of Development Research
    Institute of Economic Growth)


This paper seeks to improve our understanding of the behaviour of wholesale price index (WPI) of 24 selected food products in India over a long period of time. The hypothesis of declining trend in prices is not found for all commodities although we do find that price of food grains exhibit a negative trend as a result of positive productivity shock. Two main finding of this paper in the context of cyclical behaviour of prices are: asymmetry in the duration spent in boom and slump and the fact that the price cycle does not have a consistent shape. This has implications for formulating counter cyclical policies.

Suggested Citation

  • Andaleeb Rahman, 2012. "Characterizing food prices in India," Indira Gandhi Institute of Development Research, Mumbai Working Papers 2012-022, Indira Gandhi Institute of Development Research, Mumbai, India.
  • Handle: RePEc:ind:igiwpp:2012-022

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL:
    Download Restriction: no

    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Paul Cashin & C. John McCDermott, 2002. "The Long-Run Behavior of Commodity Prices: Small Trends and Big Variability," IMF Staff Papers, Palgrave Macmillan, vol. 49(2), pages 1-2.
    2. Ghoshray, Atanu, 2011. "A reexamination of trends in primary commodity prices," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 95(2), pages 242-251, July.
    3. Miljkovic, Dragan & Jin, Hyun J. & Paul, Rodney, 2008. "The role of productivity growth and farmers' income protection policies in the decline of relative farm prices in the United States," Journal of Policy Modeling, Elsevier, vol. 30(5), pages 873-885.
    4. Joseph V. Balagtas & Matthew T. Holt, 2009. "The Commodity Terms of Trade, Unit Roots, and Nonlinear Alternatives: A Smooth Transition Approach," American Journal of Agricultural Economics, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 91(1), pages 87-105.
    5. Angus Deaton, 1999. "Commodity Prices and Growth in Africa," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 13(3), pages 23-40, Summer.
    6. Javier León & Raimundo Soto, 1997. "Structural Breaks And Long-Run Trends In Commodity Prices," Journal of International Development, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 9(3), pages 347-366.
    7. Jayne, Thomas S. & Mukumbu, Mulinge & Duncan, John & Staatz, John M. & Howard, Julie A. & Lundberg, Mattias K.A. & Aldridge, Kim & Nakaponda, Bethel & Ferris, John N. & Keita, Francis & Sanankoua, Abd, 1995. "Trends in Real Food Prices in Six Sub-Saharan African Countries," Food Security International Development Policy Syntheses 11327, Michigan State University, Department of Agricultural, Food, and Resource Economics.
    8. Cashin, Paul & McDermott, C. John & Scott, Alasdair, 2002. "Booms and slumps in world commodity prices," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 69(1), pages 277-296, October.
    9. Walter Enders & Matthew T. Holt, 2012. "Sharp Breaks or Smooth Shifts? an Investigation of the Evolution of Primary Commodity Prices," American Journal of Agricultural Economics, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 94(3), pages 659-673.
    10. Hyun Joung Jin & Dragan Miljkovic, 2010. "An analysis of multiple structural breaks in US relative farm prices," Applied Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 42(25), pages 3253-3265.
    11. Cuddington, John T & Urzua, Carlos M, 1989. "Trends and Cycles in the Net Barter Terms of Trade: A New Approach," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 99(396), pages 426-442, June.
    12. Kellard, Neil & Wohar, Mark E., 2006. "On the prevalence of trends in primary commodity prices," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 79(1), pages 146-167, February.
    13. Prebisch, Raúl, 1950. "The economic development of Latin America and its principal problems," Sede de la CEPAL en Santiago (Estudios e Investigaciones) 29973, Naciones Unidas Comisión Económica para América Latina y el Caribe (CEPAL).
    14. Daniel A. Sumner, 2009. "Recent Commodity Price Movements in Historical Perspective," American Journal of Agricultural Economics, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 91(5), pages 1250-1256.
    15. Subir Gokarn, 2011. "The price of protein," Macroeconomics and Finance in Emerging Market Economies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 4(2), pages 327-335, July.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    More about this item


    Price level; Cycles;

    JEL classification:

    • E31 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Prices, Business Fluctuations, and Cycles - - - Price Level; Inflation; Deflation
    • E32 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Prices, Business Fluctuations, and Cycles - - - Business Fluctuations; Cycles

    NEP fields

    This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:


    Access and download statistics


    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:ind:igiwpp:2012-022. 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: (Shamprasad M. Pujar). General contact details of provider: .

    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 CitEc recognized a reference but did not link an item in RePEc 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 RePEc Author Service 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.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.