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Food prices, government subsidies and fiscal balances in south Mediterranean countries

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  • Peeters, Marga
  • Albers, Ronald

Abstract

Soaring food and energy prices sparked the revolts in Northern African countries at the end of 2010. Despite government subsidies, consumer price inflation rose, which reduced consumers’ purchasing power. This article empirically investigates the impact of world food prices on inflation and government subsidies for Algeria, Egypt, Israel, Jordan, Lebanon, Morocco, the occupied Palestinian territories and Tunisia during the ten-year period 2002-2011. Our findings show an asymmetry in the response of consumer price inflation to world food price shocks, in that soaring world food prices made inflation rise fast while nominal rigidities prevented inflation from falling. Moreover, this paper shows that government balances deteriorated up to 2% of GDP in 2008 and 2011 due to the incremental government food subsidies while they hardly improved in value terms when world food prices sharply fell in 2009.

Suggested Citation

  • Peeters, Marga & Albers, Ronald, 2011. "Food prices, government subsidies and fiscal balances in south Mediterranean countries," MPRA Paper 37707, University Library of Munich, Germany, revised 20 Mar 2012.
  • Handle: RePEc:pra:mprapa:37707
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    File URL: https://mpra.ub.uni-muenchen.de/38138/1/MPRA_paper_38138.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Albers, Ronald & Peeters, Marga, 2011. "Food and energy prices, government subsidies and fiscal balances in south Mediterranean countries," MPRA Paper 28788, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    2. Juthathip Jongwanich & Donghyun Park, 2011. "Inflation in developing Asia: pass‐through from global food and oil price shocks," Asian-Pacific Economic Literature, Asia Pacific School of Economics and Government, The Australian National University, vol. 25(1), pages 79-92, May.
    3. Alex Segura-Ubiergo & Taline Koranchelian & Carlos Mulas-Granados, 2008. "Reforming Government Subsidies in the New Member States of the European Union," IMF Working Papers 08/165, International Monetary Fund.
    4. World Bank, 2009. "Global Economic Prospects 2009 : Commodities at the Crossroads," World Bank Publications, The World Bank, number 2581, July.
    5. Jha, Raghbendra & Gaiha, Raghav & Pandey, Manoj K. & Kaicker, Nidhi, 2013. "Food subsidy, income transfer and the poor: A comparative analysis of the public distribution system in India's states," Journal of Policy Modeling, Elsevier, vol. 35(6), pages 887-908.
    6. Peeters, Marga & Strahilov, Kiril, 2008. "Macro-economic policy reactions to soaring food prices in Mediterranean countries, Russia, the CIS and the GCC," MPRA Paper 23860, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    7. Jongwanich, Juthathip & Park, Donghyun, 2009. "Inflation in developing Asia," Journal of Asian Economics, Elsevier, vol. 20(5), pages 507-518, September.
    8. Yitzhaki, Shlomo, 1990. "On the Effect of Subsidies to Basic Food Commodities in Egypt," Oxford Economic Papers, Oxford University Press, vol. 42(4), pages 772-792, October.
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    1. repec:eco:journ1:2017-03-70 is not listed on IDEAS
    2. repec:spr:ssefpa:v:10:y:2018:i:3:d:10.1007_s12571-018-0794-3 is not listed on IDEAS

    More about this item

    Keywords

    food prices; energy prices; inflation; public finances; government subsidies;

    JEL classification:

    • E62 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Macroeconomic Policy, Macroeconomic Aspects of Public Finance, and General Outlook - - - Fiscal Policy
    • L71 - Industrial Organization - - Industry Studies: Primary Products and Construction - - - Mining, Extraction, and Refining: Hydrocarbon Fuels
    • L66 - Industrial Organization - - Industry Studies: Manufacturing - - - Food; Beverages; Cosmetics; Tobacco
    • H2 - Public Economics - - Taxation, Subsidies, and Revenue
    • E3 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Prices, Business Fluctuations, and Cycles

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