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The Political Economy of Food Price Policy: the Case of Bangladesh


  • Raihan, Selim


Global food price hikes during 2007 and 2008 resulted in a sharp rise in staple food prices in Bangladesh. The poor and marginalized households were particularly vulnerable to such an adverse situation as their real purchasing power eroded. Several studies indicated that the adverse effects of the food price hike in Bangladesh were primarily manifested by the significant rise in the number of households falling below the poverty line income. At the political front, Bangladesh was run by an unelected and undemocratic `civil´ caretaker government backed by the military. The civil caretaker government came to power in January 2007 in the wake of intense political conflicts between the outgoing government led by the Bangladesh Nationalist Party and the opposition, led by the Awami League. The civil caretaker government remained in power until the end of 2008 and undertook several steps to contain price hikes. These measures included cuts in tariffs and taxes, increase in the allocation for subsidies, widening the scope and coverage of the social safety net programmes, public procurement, and distribution programmes, etc. Some of these policies and programmes were effective and some were not. Also, different stakeholders were affected differently depending on their interaction and integration with the markets.

Suggested Citation

  • Raihan, Selim, 2013. "The Political Economy of Food Price Policy: the Case of Bangladesh," WIDER Working Paper Series 002, World Institute for Development Economic Research (UNU-WIDER).
  • Handle: RePEc:unu:wpaper:wp2013-002

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Akhtar Akhtar Hossain, 2002. "Exchange Rate Responses to Inflation in Bangladesh," IMF Working Papers 02/166, International Monetary Fund.
    2. Raihan, Selim, 2009. "Impact of Food Price Rise on School Enrollment and Dropout in the Poor and Vulnerable Households in Selected Areas of Bangladesh," MPRA Paper 37900, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    3. Paul Dorosh, 2009. "Price stabilization, international trade and national cereal stocks: world price shocks and policy response in South Asia," Food Security: The Science, Sociology and Economics of Food Production and Access to Food, Springer;The International Society for Plant Pathology, vol. 1(2), pages 137-149, June.
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    Cited by:

    1. repec:spr:ssefpa:v:9:y:2017:i:3:d:10.1007_s12571-017-0685-z is not listed on IDEAS
    2. Sonia, Akter & Syed Abul, Basher, 2013. "The impacts of the global food and financial crises on household food security and economic well-being: evidence from Bangladesh," MPRA Paper 47859, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    3. Watson, Derrill D., 2013. "Political Economy Synthesis: the Food Policy Crisis," WIDER Working Paper Series 050, World Institute for Development Economic Research (UNU-WIDER).
    4. Bryan, Shane, 2013. "A Cacophony of Policy Responses: Evidence from Fourteen Countries During the 2007/08 Food Price Crisis," WIDER Working Paper Series 029, World Institute for Development Economic Research (UNU-WIDER).
    5. McKay, Andy & Tarp, Finn, 2014. "Distributional impacts of the 2008 global food price spike in Vietnam," WIDER Working Paper Series 030, World Institute for Development Economic Research (UNU-WIDER).

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    Agriculture; Expenditures; Public; Food security; Poverty; Prices;

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