IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/p/nbr/nberwo/18934.html
   My bibliography  Save this paper

Food Price Volatility and Domestic Stabilization Policies in Developing Countries

Author

Listed:
  • Christophe Gouel

Abstract

When food prices spike in countries with large numbers of poor people, hunger and malnutrition are very likely to result in the absence of public intervention. For governments, this is also a case of political survival. Government actions often take the form of direct interventions in the market to stabilize food prices, which goes against most international advice to rely on safety nets and world trade. Despite the limitations of food price stabilization policies, they are widespread in developing countries. This paper attempts to untangle the elements of this policy conundrum. Price stabilization policies arise as a result of international and domestic coordination problems. At the individual country level, it is in the national interest of many countries to adjust trade policies to take advantage of the world market in order to achieve domestic price stability. When countercyclical trade policies become widespread, the result is a thinner and less reliable world market, which further decreases the appeal of laissez-faire. A similar vicious circle operates in the domestic market: without effective policies to protect the poor, such as safety nets, food market liberalization lacks credibility and makes private actors reluctant to intervene, which in turn forces government to step in. The current policy challenge lies in designing policies that will build trust in world markets and increase trust between public and private agents.

Suggested Citation

  • Christophe Gouel, 2013. "Food Price Volatility and Domestic Stabilization Policies in Developing Countries," NBER Working Papers 18934, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:18934 Note: DEV
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: http://www.nber.org/papers/w18934.pdf
    Download Restriction: no

    Other versions of this item:

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Dawe, David, 2001. "How far down the path to free trade? The importance of rice price stabilization in developing Asia," Food Policy, Elsevier, vol. 26(2), pages 163-175, April.
    2. David S. Jacks & Kevin H. O'Rourke & Jeffrey G. Williamson, 2011. "Commodity Price Volatility and World Market Integration since 1700," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 93(3), pages 800-813, August.
    3. Barry K. Goodwin & Ashok K. Mishra & François Ortalo-Magné, 2011. "The Buck Stops Where? The Distribution of Agricultural Subsidies," NBER Chapters,in: The Intended and Unintended Effects of U.S. Agricultural and Biotechnology Policies, pages 15-50 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    4. Anna D'Souza & Dean Jolliffe, 2012. "Rising Food Prices and Coping Strategies: Household-level Evidence from Afghanistan," Journal of Development Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 48(2), pages 282-299, August.
    5. BOUET, ANTOINE & Laborde, David, 2010. "Assessing the potential cost of a failed Doha Round," World Trade Review, Cambridge University Press, vol. 9(02), pages 319-351, April.
    6. Christophe Gouel, 2013. "Rules versus Discretion in Food Storage Policies," American Journal of Agricultural Economics, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 95(4), pages 1029-1044.
    7. Rabah Arezki & Klaus Deininger & Harris Selod, 2015. "What Drives the Global "Land Rush"?," World Bank Economic Review, World Bank Group, vol. 29(2), pages 207-233.
    8. Christophe Gouel & Sébastien Jean, 2015. "Optimal Food Price Stabilization in a Small Open Developing Country," World Bank Economic Review, World Bank Group, vol. 29(1), pages 72-101.
    9. Seale, James & Regmi, Anita & Bernstein, Jason, 2003. "International Evidence on Food Consumption Patterns," Technical Bulletins 184321, United States Department of Agriculture, Economic Research Service.
    10. Staatz, John M. & Dembele, Niama Nango & Kelly, Valerie A. & Adjao, Ramziath, 2008. "Agricultural Globalization in Reverse: The Impact of the Food Crisis in West Africa," Food Security Collaborative Working Papers 55466, Michigan State University, Department of Agricultural, Food, and Resource Economics.
    11. Christopher Gilbert & Wyn Morgan, 2010. "Has food price volatility risen?," Department of Economics Working Papers 1002, Department of Economics, University of Trento, Italia.
    12. Will Martin & Kym Anderson, 2012. "Export Restrictions and Price Insulation During Commodity Price Booms," American Journal of Agricultural Economics, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 94(2), pages 422-427.
    13. Williams,Jeffrey C. & Wright,Brian D., 2005. "Storage and Commodity Markets," Cambridge Books, Cambridge University Press, number 9780521023399, March.
    14. Bardsley, Peter, 1994. "The Collapse of the Australian Wool Reserve Price Scheme," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 104(426), pages 1087-1105, September.
    15. Hanan G. Jacoby & Emmanuel Skoufias, 1997. "Risk, Financial Markets, and Human Capital in a Developing Country," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 64(3), pages 311-335.
    16. Quy-Toan Do & Andrei A. Levchenko & Martin Ravallion, 2014. "Trade Insulation as Social Protection," NBER Chapters,in: The Economics of Food Price Volatility, pages 345-366 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    17. Rabah Arezki & Klaus Deininger & Harris Selod, 2015. "What Drives the Global "Land Rush"?," World Bank Economic Review, World Bank Group, vol. 29(2), pages 207-233.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Citations

    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.
    as


    Cited by:

    1. Brockhaus, Jan & Kalkuhl, Matthias, 2015. "Grain emergency reserve cooperation – A theoretical analysis of benefits from a common emergency reserve," 2015 Conference, August 9-14, 2015, Milan, Italy 212767, International Association of Agricultural Economists.
    2. Martin, William J., 2012. "Managing High and Volatile Food Prices," Trade Policy Issues Papers 142732, International Agricultural Trade Research Consortium.
    3. repec:fpr:ifpric:9780896292499-08 is not listed on IDEAS
    4. Jan Brockhaus & Jan Brockhaus & Matthias Kalkuhl, 2015. "Drivers of private grain storage. A computational-economics and empirical approach," EcoMod2015 8430, EcoMod.
    5. Bhattacharya, Rudrani, 2016. "How does Supply Chain Distortion affect Food Inflation in India?," Working Papers 16/173, National Institute of Public Finance and Policy.
    6. Díaz-Bonilla, Eugenio, 2014. "On food security stocks, peace clauses, and permanent solutions after Bali:," IFPRI discussion papers 1388, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).
    7. Pieters, Hannah & Swinnen, Johan, 2016. "Trading-off volatility and distortions? Food policy during price spikes," Food Policy, Elsevier, vol. 61(C), pages 27-39.
    8. Christophe Gouel & Madhur Gautam & Will J. Martin, 2016. "Managing food price volatility in a large open country: the case of wheat in India," Oxford Economic Papers, Oxford University Press, vol. 68(3), pages 811-835.
    9. Ashima Goyal & Akash Kumar Baikar, 2014. "Psychology, Cyclicality or Social Programs: Rural Wage and Inflation Dynamics in India," Working Papers id:5812, eSocialSciences.
    10. Matthias Kalkuhl & Mekbib Haile & Lukas Kornher & Marta Kozicka, 2015. "Cost-benefit framework for policy action to navigate food price spikes. FOODSECURE Working Paper No 33," FOODSECURE Working papers 33, LEI Wageningen UR.
    11. Hoang, Hoa K. & Meyers, William H., 2015. "Price stabilization and impacts of trade liberalization in the Southeast Asian rice market," Food Policy, Elsevier, vol. 57(C), pages 26-39.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • F13 - International Economics - - Trade - - - Trade Policy; International Trade Organizations
    • I38 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Welfare, Well-Being, and Poverty - - - Government Programs; Provision and Effects of Welfare Programs
    • Q11 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Agriculture - - - Aggregate Supply and Demand Analysis; Prices
    • Q17 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Agriculture - - - Agriculture in International Trade
    • Q18 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Agriculture - - - Agricultural Policy; Food Policy

    Statistics

    Access and download statistics

    Corrections

    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:nbr:nberwo:18934. 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: (). General contact details of provider: http://edirc.repec.org/data/nberrus.html .

    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.