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Rice prices and poverty in Liberia

  • Tsimpo, Clarence
  • Wodon, Quentin

When assessing the impact of changes in food prices on poverty, it is important to consider food producers (who may benefit from an increase in prices) as well as consumers (who loose out when the price increases), with a focus on poor consumers and producers. In the case of rice in Liberia however, the impact of a change in price is not ambiguous because a large share of the rice consumed is imported, while the rice locally produced is used mostly for auto-consumption. An increase in the price of rice will result in higher poverty in the country as a whole (even if some local producers will gain from this increase), while a reduction in price will reduce poverty. Furthermore, because rice represents a large share of food consumption, any change in its price is likely to have a large impact on poverty. Using data from the 2007 CWIQ survey, the paper finds that an increase or decrease of 20 percent in the price of rice could lead to an increase or decrease of three to four percentage points in the share of the population in poverty.

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Paper provided by The World Bank in its series Policy Research Working Paper Series with number 4742.

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Date of creation: 01 Oct 2008
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Handle: RePEc:wbk:wbrwps:4742
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  1. Quentin Wodon & Hassan Zaman, 2010. "Higher Food Prices in Sub-Saharan Africa: Poverty Impact and Policy Responses," World Bank Research Observer, World Bank Group, vol. 25(1), pages 157-176, February.
  2. Christopher B. Barrett & Paul A. Dorosh, 1996. "Farmers' Welfare and Changing Food Prices: Nonparametric Evidence from Rice in Madagascar," American Journal of Agricultural Economics, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 78(3), pages 656-669.
  3. Peter Warr, 2005. "Food Policy And Poverty In Indonesia: A General Equilibrium Analysis," Departmental Working Papers 2005-03, The Australian National University, Arndt-Corden Department of Economics.
  4. C. Peter Timmer & David Dawe, 2007. "Managing Food Price Instability in Asia: A Macro Food Security Perspective ," Asian Economic Journal, East Asian Economic Association, vol. 21(1), pages 1-18, 03.
  5. Christiaensen, Luc & Scott, Christopher & Wodon, Quentin, 2002. "Poverty Measurement and Analysis," MPRA Paper 45362, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  6. Backiny-Yetna, Prospere & Wodon, Quentin & Mungai, Rose & Tsimpo, Clarence, 2012. "Poverty in Liberia: Level,Profile, and Determinants," MPRA Paper 38546, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  7. Budd, John W, 1993. "Changing Food Prices and Rural Welfare: A Nonparametric Examination of the Cote d'Ivoire," Economic Development and Cultural Change, University of Chicago Press, vol. 41(3), pages 587-603, April.
  8. Nicholas Minot & Francesco Goletti, 1998. "Export Liberalization and Household Welfare: The Case of Rice in Vietnam," American Journal of Agricultural Economics, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 80(4), pages 738-749.
  9. Ivanic, Maros & Martin, Will, 2008. "Implications of higher global food prices for poverty in low-income countries," Policy Research Working Paper Series 4594, The World Bank.
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