IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/p/pra/mprapa/24457.html
   My bibliography  Save this paper

The Welfare Impacts of Commodity Price Fluctuations: Evidence from Rural Ethiopia

Author

Listed:
  • Bellemare, Marc F.
  • Barrett, Christopher B.
  • Just, David R.

Abstract

Many governments try to stabilize commodity prices based on the widespread belief that households value price stability and that the poor especially benefit from food price stabilization. We derive an exact measure of multivariate price risk aversion and of associated household willingness to pay for price stabilization across multiple commodities. Using data from a panel of Ethiopian households, we estimate that the average household would be willing to pay 6-32 percent of its income to eliminate fluctuations in the prices of the seven primary food commodities. But not everyone benefits from price stabilization. Contrary to conventional wisdom, the welfare gains from eliminating price fluctuations would be concentrated in the upper 40 percent of the income distribution, making food price stabilization a distributionally regressive policy in this context.

Suggested Citation

  • Bellemare, Marc F. & Barrett, Christopher B. & Just, David R., 2010. "The Welfare Impacts of Commodity Price Fluctuations: Evidence from Rural Ethiopia," MPRA Paper 24457, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  • Handle: RePEc:pra:mprapa:24457
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: https://mpra.ub.uni-muenchen.de/24457/1/MPRA_paper_24457.pdf
    File Function: original version
    Download Restriction: no

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Atanu Saha & C. Richard Shumway & Hovav Talpaz, 1994. "Joint Estimation of Risk Preference Structure and Technology Using Expo-Power Utility," American Journal of Agricultural Economics, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 76(2), pages 173-184.
    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. Barrett, Christopher B., 1999. "The microeconomics of the developmental paradox: on the political economy of food price policy," Agricultural Economics of Agricultural Economists, International Association of Agricultural Economists, vol. 20(2), March.
    4. Hanoch, Giora, 1977. "Risk Aversion and Consumer Preferences," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 45(2), pages 413-426, March.
    5. Verbeek, Marno & Nijman, Theo, 1992. "Testing for Selectivity Bias in Panel Data Models," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 33(3), pages 681-703, August.
    6. 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.
    7. Williams,Jeffrey C. & Wright,Brian D., 2005. "Storage and Commodity Markets," Cambridge Books, Cambridge University Press, number 9780521023399, April.
    8. Marc F. Bellemare & Christopher B. Barrett, 2006. "An Ordered Tobit Model of Market Participation: Evidence from Kenya and Ethiopia," American Journal of Agricultural Economics, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 88(2), pages 324-337.
    9. Israel Finkelshtain & James A. Chalfant, 1997. "Commodity Price Stabilization in a Peasant Economy," American Journal of Agricultural Economics, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 79(4), pages 1208-1217.
    10. Sandmo, Agnar, 1971. "On the Theory of the Competitive Firm under Price Uncertainty," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 61(1), pages 65-73, March.
    11. Krueger, Anne O & Schiff, Maurice & Valdes, Alberto, 1988. "Agricultural Incentives in Developing Countries: Measuring the Effect of Sectoral and Economywide Policies," World Bank Economic Review, World Bank Group, vol. 2(3), pages 255-271, September.
    12. Knudsen, Odin & Nash, John, 1990. "Domestic Price Stabilization Schemes in Developing Countries," Economic Development and Cultural Change, University of Chicago Press, vol. 38(3), pages 539-558, April.
    13. Epstein, L, 1975. "A Disaggregate Analysis of Consumer Choice under Uncertainty," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 43(5-6), pages 877-892, Sept.-Nov.
    14. MaCurdy, Thomas E & Pencavel, John H, 1986. "Testing between Competing Models of Wage and Employment Determination in Unionized Markets," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 94(3), pages 3-39, June.
    15. Newbery, David M, 1989. "The Theory of Food Price Stabilisation," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 99(398), pages 1065-1082, December.
    16. Deschamps, Robert, 1973. "Risk Aversion and Demand Functions," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 41(3), pages 455-465, May.
    17. Nijman, T.E. & Verbeek, M.J.C.M., 1992. "Testing for selectivity in panel data models," Other publications TiSEM 7ec34a6c-1d84-4052-971c-d, Tilburg University, School of Economics and Management.
    18. Sherlund, Shane M. & Barrett, Christopher B. & Adesina, Akinwumi A., 2002. "Smallholder technical efficiency controlling for environmental production conditions," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 69(1), pages 85-101, October.
    19. Henley, Andrew & Peirson, John, 1997. "Non-linearities in Electricity Demand and Temperature: Parametric versus Non-parametric Methods," Oxford Bulletin of Economics and Statistics, Department of Economics, University of Oxford, vol. 59(1), pages 149-162, February.
    20. Shaun K. Roache, 2010. "What Explains the Rise in Food Price Volatility?," IMF Working Papers 10/129, International Monetary Fund.
    21. Deaton, Angus S & Muellbauer, John, 1980. "An Almost Ideal Demand System," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 70(3), pages 312-326, June.
    22. Barrett, Christopher B., 1996. "On price risk and the inverse farm size-productivity relationship," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 51(2), pages 193-215, December.
    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. Kane Gilles Quentin & Tene Gwladys Laure Mabah & Ambagna Jean Joël & Piot-Lepetit Isabelle & Sikod Fondo, 2015. "The Impact of Food Price Volatility on Consumer Welfare in Cameroon," WIDER Working Paper Series 013, World Institute for Development Economic Research (UNU-WIDER).
    2. Michelson, Hope & Reardon, Thomas & Perez, Francisco, 2012. "Small Farmers and Big Retail: Trade-offs of Supplying Supermarkets in Nicaragua," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 40(2), pages 342-354.
    3. Bellemare, Marc F. & Carnes, Nicholas, 2015. "Why do members of congress support agricultural protection?," Food Policy, Elsevier, vol. 50(C), pages 20-34.
    4. Nicole M. Mason & Robert J. Myers, 2013. "The effects of the Food Reserve Agency on maize market prices in Zambia," Agricultural Economics, International Association of Agricultural Economists, vol. 44(2), pages 203-216, March.
    5. Alexandros Sarris, 2014. "Trade, food and welfare," Chapters,in: Handbook on Food, chapter 13, pages 325-352 Edward Elgar Publishing.
    6. Bellemare, Marc F., 2011. "Rising food prices, food price volatility, and political unrest," MPRA Paper 31888, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    7. Barrett, Christopher B. & Bachke, Maren E. & Bellemare, Marc F. & Michelson, Hope C. & Narayanan, Sudha & Walker, Thomas F., 2012. "Smallholder Participation in Contract Farming: Comparative Evidence from Five Countries," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 40(4), pages 715-730.
    8. von Braun, Joachim & Tadesse, Getaw, 2012. "Global Food Price Volatility and Spikes: An Overview of Costs, Causes, and Solutions," Discussion Papers 120021, University of Bonn, Center for Development Research (ZEF).

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Price Fluctuations; Price Stabilization; Price Risk; Risk and Uncertainty;

    JEL classification:

    • D13 - Microeconomics - - Household Behavior - - - Household Production and Intrahouse Allocation
    • E64 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Macroeconomic Policy, Macroeconomic Aspects of Public Finance, and General Outlook - - - Incomes Policy; Price Policy
    • D80 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - General
    • Q12 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Agriculture - - - Micro Analysis of Farm Firms, Farm Households, and Farm Input Markets
    • O12 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Microeconomic Analyses of Economic Development

    NEP fields

    This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:

    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:pra:mprapa:24457. 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: (Joachim Winter). General contact details of provider: http://edirc.repec.org/data/vfmunde.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.