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Rising food prices and coping strategies : household-level evidence from Afghanistan

  • D'Souza, Anna
  • Jolliffe, Dean

This paper investigates the impact of rising wheat prices -- during the 2007/08 global food crisis -- on food security in Afghanistan. Exploiting the temporal stratification of a unique nationally-representative household survey, the analysis finds evidence of large declines in real per capita food consumption and in food security (per capita calorie intake and household dietary diversity) corresponding to the price shocks. The data reveal smaller price elasticities with respect to calories than with respect to food consumption, suggesting that households trade off quality for quantity as they move toward staple foods and away from nutrient-rich foods such as meat and vegetables. In addition, there is increased demand in the face of price increases (Giffen good properties) for wheat products in urban areas. This study improves on country-level simulation studies by providing estimates of actual household wellbeing before and during the height of the global food crisis in one of the world's poorest, most food-insecure countries.

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Paper provided by The World Bank in its series Policy Research Working Paper Series with number 5466.

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Date of creation: 01 Nov 2010
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Handle: RePEc:wbk:wbrwps:5466
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  1. Jed Friedman & James Levinsohn, 2001. "The Distributional Impacts of Indonesia's Financial Crisis on Household Welfare: A "Rapid Response" Methodology," NBER Working Papers 8564, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Simler, Kenneth R., 2010. "The short-term impact of higher food prices on poverty in Uganda," Policy Research Working Paper Series 5210, The World Bank.
  3. 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.
  4. Chabot, Philippe & Dorosh, Paul A., 2007. "Wheat markets, food aid and food security in Afghanistan," Food Policy, Elsevier, vol. 32(3), pages 334-353, June.
  5. Angus Deaton & Salman Zaidi, 2002. "Guidelines for Constructing Consumption Aggregates for Welfare Analysis," World Bank Publications, The World Bank, number 14101.
  6. Todd Benson & Samuel Mugarura & Kelly Wanda, 2008. "Impacts in Uganda of rising global food prices: the role of diversified staples and limited price transmission," Agricultural Economics, International Association of Agricultural Economists, vol. 39(s1), pages 513-524, November.
  7. McKenzie, David J, 2006. "The Consumer Response to the Mexican Peso Crisis," Economic Development and Cultural Change, University of Chicago Press, vol. 55(1), pages 139-72, October.
  8. Hoddinott, John & Yohannes, Yisehac, 2002. "Dietary diversity as a food security indicator," FCND discussion papers 136, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).
  9. Block, Steven A. & Kiess, Lynnda & Webb, Patrick & Kosen, Soewarta & Moench-Pfanner, Regina & Bloem, Martin W. & Peter Timmer, C., 2004. "Macro shocks and micro outcomes: child nutrition during Indonesia's crisis," Economics & Human Biology, Elsevier, vol. 2(1), pages 21-44, March.
  10. Zahoor ul Haq & Hina Nazli & Karl Meilke, 2008. "Implications of high food prices for poverty in Pakistan," Agricultural Economics, International Association of Agricultural Economists, vol. 39(s1), pages 477-484, November.
  11. Wodon, Quentin & Tsimpo, Clarence & Backiny-Yetna, Prospere & Joseph, George & Adoho, Franck & Coulombe, Harold, 2008. "Potential impact of higher food prices on poverty : summary estimates for a dozen west and central African countries," Policy Research Working Paper Series 4745, The World Bank.
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