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Food Price Shocks and the Political Economy of Global Agricultural and Development Policy

Author

Listed:
  • Andrea Guariso
  • Mara P. Squicciarini
  • Johan Swinnen

Abstract

The recent spikes of global food prices induced a rapid increase in mass media coverage, public policy attention, and donor funding for food security, and for agriculture and rural poverty. This has occurred while the shift from “low” to “high” food prices has induced a shift in (demographic or social) “location” of the hunger and poverty effects, but the total number of undernourished and poor people have declined over the same period. We discuss whether the observed pattern can be explained by the presence of a “global urban bias” on agriculture and food policy in developing countries, and whether this “global urban bias” may actually benefit poor farmers. We argue that the food price spikes appear to have succeeded where others have failed in the past: to move the problems of poor and hungry farmers to the top of the policy agenda and to induce development and donor strategies to help them.

Suggested Citation

  • Andrea Guariso & Mara P. Squicciarini & Johan Swinnen, 2014. "Food Price Shocks and the Political Economy of Global Agricultural and Development Policy," LICOS Discussion Papers 34814, LICOS - Centre for Institutions and Economic Performance, KU Leuven.
  • Handle: RePEc:lic:licosd:34814
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    File URL: http://feb.kuleuven.be/drc/licos/publications/dp/DP348_full.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Johan Swinnen, 2011. "The Right Price of Food," Development Policy Review, Overseas Development Institute, vol. 29(6), pages 667-688, November.
    2. Johan F. M. Swinnen & Harry De Gorter, 1993. "Why Small Groups And Low Income Sectors Obtain Subsidies: The “Altruistic” Side Of A “Self‐Interested” Government," Economics and Politics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 5(3), pages 285-293, November.
    3. Klaus Deininger, 2013. "Global land investments in the bio-economy: evidence and policy implications," Agricultural Economics, International Association of Agricultural Economists, vol. 44(s1), pages 115-127, November.
    4. Thomas Eisensee & David Strömberg, 2007. "News Droughts, News Floods, and U. S. Disaster Relief," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 122(2), pages 693-728.
    5. Verpoorten, Marijke & Arora, Abhimanyu & Stoop, Nik & Swinnen, Johan, 2013. "Self-reported food insecurity in Africa during the food price crisis," Food Policy, Elsevier, vol. 39(C), pages 51-63.
    6. Johan F. M. Swinnen, 1994. "A Positive Theory of Agricultural Protection," American Journal of Agricultural Economics, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 76(1), pages 1-14.
    7. Gardner, Bruce L, 1987. "Causes of U.S. Farm Commodity Programs," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 95(2), pages 290-310, April.
    8. Johan F. M. Swinnen & Pasquamaria Squicciarini & Thijs Vandemoortele, 2011. "The food crisis, mass media and the political economy of policy analysis and communication," European Review of Agricultural Economics, Foundation for the European Review of Agricultural Economics, vol. 38(3), pages 409-426, August.
    9. Derek Byerlee & Klaus Deininger, 2013. "Growing Resource Scarcity and Global Farmland Investment," Annual Review of Resource Economics, Annual Reviews, vol. 5(1), pages 13-34, June.
    10. Johan F. M. Swinnen & Nathalie Francken, 2006. "Summits, Riots and Media Attention: The Political Economy of Information on Trade and Globalisation," The World Economy, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 29(5), pages 637-654, May.
    11. Harry de Gorter & Yacov Tsur, 1991. "Explaining Price Policy Bias in Agriculture: The Calculus of Support-Maximizing Politicians," American Journal of Agricultural Economics, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 73(4), pages 1244-1254.
    12. David Strömberg, 2004. "Mass Media Competition, Political Competition, and Public Policy," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 71(1), pages 265-284.
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    Cited by:

    1. Jean-Christophe Bureau & Jo Swinnen, 2017. "EU policies and global food security," Working Papers of Department of Economics, Leuven 578549, KU Leuven, Faculty of Economics and Business (FEB), Department of Economics, Leuven.

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