IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/p/wbk/wbrwps/6393.html
   My bibliography  Save this paper

Food price volatility and domestic stabilization policies in developing countries

Author

Listed:
  • Gouel, Christophe

Abstract

When food prices spike in countries with large numbers of poor people, public intervention is essential to alleviate hunger and malnutrition. For governments, this is also a case of political survival. Government actions often take the form of direct interventions in the market to stabilize food prices, which goes against most international advice to rely on safety nets and world trade. Despite the limitations of food price stabilization policies, they are widespread in developing countries. This paper attempts to untangle the elements of this policy conundrum. Price stabilization policies arise as a result of international and domestic coordination problems. At the individual country level, it is in the national interest of many countries to adjust trade policies to take ad-vantage of the world market in order to achieve domestic price stability. When countercyclical trade policies become widespread, the result is a thinner and less reliable world market, which further decreases the appeal of laissez-faire. A similar vicious circle operates in the domestic market: without effective policies to protect the poor, such as safety nets, food market liberalization lacks credibility and makes private actors reluctant to intervene, which in turn forces government to step in. The current policy challenge lies in designing policies that will build trust in world markets and increase trust between pub-lic and private agents.

Suggested Citation

  • Gouel, Christophe, 2013. "Food price volatility and domestic stabilization policies in developing countries," Policy Research Working Paper Series 6393, The World Bank.
  • Handle: RePEc:wbk:wbrwps:6393
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: http://www-wds.worldbank.org/external/default/WDSContentServer/WDSP/IB/2013/03/27/000158349_20130327102642/Rendered/PDF/wps6393.pdf
    Download Restriction: no
    ---><---

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Anna D'Souza & Dean Jolliffe, 2012. "Rising Food Prices and Coping Strategies: Household-level Evidence from Afghanistan," Journal of Development Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 48(2), pages 282-299, August.
    2. Rabah Arezki & Klaus Deininger & Harris Selod, 2015. "What Drives the Global "Land Rush"?," The World Bank Economic Review, World Bank Group, vol. 29(2), pages 207-233.
    3. Glewwe, Paul & Jocoby, Hanan & King, Elizabeth M., 1999. "Early childhood nutrition and academic achievement," FCND discussion papers 68, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).
    4. Will Martin & Kym Anderson, 2012. "Export Restrictions and Price Insulation During Commodity Price Booms," American Journal of Agricultural Economics, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 94(2), pages 422-427.
    5. Williams,Jeffrey C. & Wright,Brian D., 2005. "Storage and Commodity Markets," Cambridge Books, Cambridge University Press, number 9780521023399.
    6. Porteous, Obie, 2017. "Empirical effects of short-term export bans: The case of African maize," Food Policy, Elsevier, vol. 71(C), pages 17-26.
    7. Bardsley, Peter, 1994. "The Collapse of the Australian Wool Reserve Price Scheme," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 104(426), pages 1087-1105, September.
    8. Hanan G. Jacoby & Emmanuel Skoufias, 1997. "Risk, Financial Markets, and Human Capital in a Developing Country," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 64(3), pages 311-335.
    9. Paolo E. Giordani & Nadia Rocha & Michele Ruta, 2012. "Food Prices and the Multiplier Effect of Export Policy," CESifo Working Paper Series 3783, CESifo.
    10. Nocetti, Diego & Smith, William T., 2011. "Price uncertainty, saving, and welfare," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 35(7), pages 1139-1149, July.
    11. Salant, Stephen W, 1983. "The Vulnerability of Price Stabilization Schemes to Speculative Attack," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 91(1), pages 1-38, February.
    12. Tom Slayton, 2009. "Rice Crisis Forensics: How Asian Governments Carelessly Set the World Rice Market on Fire," Working Papers 163, Center for Global Development.
    13. Christophe Gouel & Sébastien Jean, 2015. "Optimal Food Price Stabilization in a Small Open Developing Country," The World Bank Economic Review, World Bank Group, vol. 29(1), pages 72-101.
    14. Sergio H. Lence, 2009. "Do Futures Benefit Farmers?," American Journal of Agricultural Economics, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 91(1), pages 154-167.
    15. 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.
    16. Andrew Coleman, 2009. "Storage, Slow Transport, and the Law of One Price: Theory with Evidence from Nineteenth-Century U.S. Corn Markets," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 91(2), pages 332-350, May.
    17. Tschirley, David L. & Jayne, T.S., 2010. "Exploring the Logic Behind Southern Africa's Food Crises," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 38(1), pages 76-87, January.
    18. Donald F. Larson & Julian Lampietti & Christophe Gouel & Carlo Cafiero & John Roberts, 2014. "Food Security and Storage in the Middle East and North Africa," The World Bank Economic Review, World Bank Group, vol. 28(1), pages 48-73.
    19. Bruce L. Gardner & Ramón López, 1996. "The Inefficiency of Interest-Rate Subsidies in Commodity Price Stabilization," American Journal of Agricultural Economics, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 78(3), pages 508-516.
    20. Turnovsky, Stephen J & Shalit, Haim & Schmitz, Andrew, 1980. "Consumer's Surplus, Price Instability, and Consumer Welfare," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 48(1), pages 135-152, January.
    21. Glewwe, Paul & Jacoby, Hanan G. & King, Elizabeth M., 2001. "Early childhood nutrition and academic achievement: a longitudinal analysis," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 81(3), pages 345-368, September.
    22. Galtier, F., 2009. "How to Manage Food Price Instability in Developing Countries ?," Working Papers MoISA 200905, UMR MoISA : Montpellier Interdisciplinary center on Sustainable Agri-food systems (social and nutritional sciences): CIHEAM-IAMM, CIRAD, INRAE, L'Institut Agro, Montpellier SupAgro, IRD - Montpellier, France.
    23. Christophe Gouel, 2013. "Rules versus Discretion in Food Storage Policies," American Journal of Agricultural Economics, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 95(4), pages 1029-1044.
    24. Seale, James L., Jr. & Regmi, Anita & Bernstein, Jason, 2003. "International Evidence On Food Consumption Patterns," Technical Bulletins 33580, United States Department of Agriculture, Economic Research Service.
    25. Staatz, John M. & Dembele, Niama Nango & Kelly, Valerie A. & Adjao, Ramziath, 2008. "Agricultural Globalization in Reverse: The Impact of the Food Crisis in West Africa," Food Security Collaborative Working Papers 55466, Michigan State University, Department of Agricultural, Food, and Resource Economics.
    26. Quy-Toan Do & Andrei A. Levchenko & Martin Ravallion, 2014. "Trade Insulation as Social Protection," NBER Chapters, in: The Economics of Food Price Volatility, pages 345-366, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    27. Helpman, Elhanan & Razin, Assaf, 1979. "A Theory of International Trade Under Uncertainty," Elsevier Monographs, Elsevier, edition 1, number 9780123396501 edited by Shell, Karl.
    28. Rabah Arezki & Markus Brückner, 2011. "Food prices and political instability," NCID Working Papers 01/2011, Navarra Center for International Development, University of Navarra.
    29. Cafiero, Carlo & Bobenrieth H., Eugenio S.A. & Bobenrieth H., Juan R.A. & Wright, Brian D., 2011. "The empirical relevance of the competitive storage model," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 162(1), pages 44-54, May.
    30. Frederick V. Waugh, 1944. "Does the Consumer Benefit from Price Instability?," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 58(4), pages 602-614.
    31. Marcel Fafchamps, 1992. "Cash Crop Production, Food Price Volatility, and Rural Market Integration in the Third World," American Journal of Agricultural Economics, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 74(1), pages 90-99.
    32. von Braun, Joachim & Torero, Maximo, 2009. "Implementing physical and virtual food reserves to protect the poor and prevent market failure:," Policy briefs 10, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).
    33. D'Souza, Anna & Jolliffe, Dean, 2010. "Rising food prices and coping strategies : household-level evidence from Afghanistan," Policy Research Working Paper Series 5466, The World Bank.
    34. Rashid, Shahidur & Cummings, Ralph Jr. & Gulati, Ashok, 2005. "Grain marketing parastatals in Asia," MTID discussion papers 80, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).
    35. Irwin, Scott H. & Sanders, Dwight R., 2012. "Testing the Masters Hypothesis in commodity futures markets," Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 34(1), pages 256-269.
    36. Boussard, Jean-Marc & Gerard, Francoise & Piketty, Marie Gabrielle & Ayouz, Mourad & Voituriez, Tancrede, 2006. "Endogenous risk and long run effects of liberalization in a global analysis framework," Economic Modelling, Elsevier, vol. 23(3), pages 457-475, May.
    37. Margaret Grosh & Carlo del Ninno & Emil Tesliuc & Azedine Ouerghi, 2008. "For Protection and Promotion : The Design and Implementation of Effective Safety Nets," World Bank Publications - Books, The World Bank Group, number 6582, November.
    38. Miranda, Mario J & Helmberger, Peter G, 1988. "The Effects of Commodity Price Stabilization Programs," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 78(1), pages 46-58, March.
    39. Bellemare, Marc F., 2011. "Rising food prices, food price volatility, and political unrest," MPRA Paper 31888, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    40. Rashid, Shahidur & Lemma, Solomon, 2011. "Strategic grain reserves in Ethiopia: Institutional design and operational performance," IFPRI discussion papers 01054, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).
    41. Poulton, Colin & Kydd, Jonathan & Wiggins, Steve & Dorward, Andrew, 2006. "State intervention for food price stabilisation in Africa: Can it work?," Food Policy, Elsevier, vol. 31(4), pages 342-356, August.
    42. Barrett E. Kirwan, 2009. "The Incidence of U.S. Agricultural Subsidies on Farmland Rental Rates," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 117(1), pages 138-164, February.
    43. Antoine Bouët & David Laborde, 2010. "Assessing the Potential Cost of a Failed Doha," Post-Print hal-01881925, HAL.
    44. Varangis, Panos & Larson, Donald & Anderson, Jack R., 2002. "Agricultural markets and risks - management of the latter, not the former," Policy Research Working Paper Series 2793, The World Bank.
    45. Chapoto, Antony & Jayne, Thomas S., 2009. "The Impacts of Trade Barriers and Market Interventions on Maize Price Predictability: Evidence from Eastern and Southern Africa," Food Security International Development Working Papers 56798, Michigan State University, Department of Agricultural, Food, and Resource Economics.
    46. Alain Janvry & Ravi Kanbur (ed.), 2006. "Poverty, Inequality and Development," Economic Studies in Inequality, Social Exclusion, and Well-Being, Springer, number 978-0-387-29748-4, December.
    47. 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.
    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. Martin, William J., 2012. "Managing High and Volatile Food Prices," Trade Issues Papers 142732, International Agricultural Trade Research Consortium.
    2. Pierre-Emmanuel Darpeix, 2019. "Literature review on the consequences of food price spikes and price volatility," Working Papers hal-02072329, HAL.
    3. Pieters, Hannah & Swinnen, Johan, 2016. "Trading-off volatility and distortions? Food policy during price spikes," Food Policy, Elsevier, vol. 61(C), pages 27-39.
    4. Hoang, Hoa K. & Meyers, William H., 2015. "Price stabilization and impacts of trade liberalization in the Southeast Asian rice market," Food Policy, Elsevier, vol. 57(C), pages 26-39.
    5. Lee, Iona Hyojung, 2018. "Industrial output fluctuations in developing countries: General equilibrium consequences of agricultural productivity shocks," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 102(C), pages 240-279.
    6. Krah, Kwabena, 2022. "Maize price variability, land use change, and forestloss: evidence from Ghana," 2022 Annual Meeting, July 31-August 2, Anaheim, California 322247, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association.
    7. Ashima Goyal & Akash Kumar Baikar, 2014. "Psychology, cyclicality or social programs: Rural wage and inflation dynamics in India," Indira Gandhi Institute of Development Research, Mumbai Working Papers 2014-014, Indira Gandhi Institute of Development Research, Mumbai, India.
    8. Jan Brockhaus & Jan Brockhaus & Matthias Kalkuhl, 2015. "Drivers of private grain storage. A computational-economics and empirical approach," EcoMod2015 8430, EcoMod.
    9. MacDonald, Stephen & Meyer, Leslie, 2018. "Long Run Trends and Fluctuations In Cotton Prices," MPRA Paper 84484, University Library of Munich, Germany, revised 10 Feb 2018.
    10. Díaz-Bonilla, Eugenio, 2014. "On food security stocks, peace clauses, and permanent solutions after Bali:," IFPRI discussion papers 1388, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).
    11. Pierre-Emmanuel Darpeix, 2019. "Literature review on the consequences of food price spikes and price volatility," PSE Working Papers hal-02072329, HAL.

    Most related items

    These are the items that most often cite the same works as this one and are cited by the same works as this one.
    1. Christophe Gouel, 2014. "Food Price Volatility and Domestic Stabilization Policies in Developing Countries," NBER Chapters, in: The Economics of Food Price Volatility, pages 261-306, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    2. Christophe Gouel, 2013. "Rules versus Discretion in Food Storage Policies," American Journal of Agricultural Economics, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 95(4), pages 1029-1044.
    3. Christophe Gouel & Sébastien Jean, 2015. "Optimal Food Price Stabilization in a Small Open Developing Country," The World Bank Economic Review, World Bank Group, vol. 29(1), pages 72-101.
    4. Christophe Gouel, 2012. "Agricultural Price Instability: A Survey Of Competing Explanations And Remedies," Journal of Economic Surveys, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 26(1), pages 129-156, February.
    5. Donald F. Larson & Julian Lampietti & Christophe Gouel & Carlo Cafiero & John Roberts, 2014. "Food Security and Storage in the Middle East and North Africa," The World Bank Economic Review, World Bank Group, vol. 28(1), pages 48-73.
    6. Pierre-Emmanuel Darpeix, 2019. "Literature review on the consequences of food price spikes and price volatility," Working Papers hal-02072329, HAL.
    7. Christophe Gouel & Madhur Gautam & Will J. Martin, 2016. "Managing food price volatility in a large open country: the case of wheat in India," Oxford Economic Papers, Oxford University Press, vol. 68(3), pages 811-835.
    8. Pierre-Emmanuel Darpeix, 2019. "Literature review on the consequences of food price spikes and price volatility," PSE Working Papers hal-02072329, HAL.
    9. Gouel, Christophe, 2013. "Optimal food price stabilisation policy," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 57(C), pages 118-134.
    10. Brockhaus, Jan & Kalkuhl, Matthias, 2015. "Grain emergency reserve cooperation – A theoretical analysis of benefits from a common emergency reserve," 2015 Conference, August 9-14, 2015, Milan, Italy 212767, International Association of Agricultural Economists.
    11. Dick Durevall & Roy Weide, 2017. "Importing High Food Prices by Exporting: Rice Prices in Lao PDR," Journal of Agricultural Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 68(1), pages 164-181, February.
    12. Kornher, Lukas & Kalkuhl, Matthias, 2015. "Cost and benefits from regional cooperation on grain reserves: The case of ECOWAS," 2015 Conference, August 9-14, 2015, Milan, Italy 211824, International Association of Agricultural Economists.
    13. Matthias Kalkuhl & Lukas Kornher & Matthias Kalkuhl & Irfan Mujahid, 2015. "Food price volatility in developing countries – the role of trade and storage," EcoMod2015 8415, EcoMod.
    14. Díaz-Bonilla, Eugenio, 2014. "On food security stocks, peace clauses, and permanent solutions after Bali:," IFPRI discussion papers 1388, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).
    15. Kornher, Lukas & Kalkuhl, Matthias, 2013. "Food Price Volatility in Developing Countries and its Determinants," Quarterly Journal of International Agriculture, Humboldt-Universitaat zu Berlin, vol. 52(4), pages 1-32, November.
    16. Colin A. Carter & Gordon C. Rausser & Aaron Smith, 2011. "Commodity Booms and Busts," Annual Review of Resource Economics, Annual Reviews, vol. 3(1), pages 87-118, October.
    17. Elodie Maître d'Hôtel & Tristan Le Cotty & Thom Jayne, 2013. "Trade Policy Inconsistency and Maize Price Volatility: An ARCH Approach in Kenya," African Development Review, African Development Bank, vol. 25(4), pages 607-620, December.
    18. Martin, William J., 2012. "Managing High and Volatile Food Prices," Trade Issues Papers 142732, International Agricultural Trade Research Consortium.
    19. Galtier, F., 2009. "Comment gérer l'instabilité des prix alimentaires dans les pays en développement ?," Working Papers MoISA 200904, UMR MoISA : Montpellier Interdisciplinary center on Sustainable Agri-food systems (social and nutritional sciences): CIHEAM-IAMM, CIRAD, INRAE, L'Institut Agro, Montpellier SupAgro, IRD - Montpellier, France.
    20. Galtier, F., 2009. "How to Manage Food Price Instability in Developing Countries ?," Working Papers MoISA 200905, UMR MoISA : Montpellier Interdisciplinary center on Sustainable Agri-food systems (social and nutritional sciences): CIHEAM-IAMM, CIRAD, INRAE, L'Institut Agro, Montpellier SupAgro, IRD - Montpellier, France.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Markets and Market Access; Emerging Markets; Access to Markets; Economic Theory&Research; Labor Policies;
    All these keywords.

    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:wbk:wbrwps:6393. 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: . General contact details of provider: https://edirc.repec.org/data/dvewbus.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 bibliographic 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.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: Roula I. Yazigi (email available below). General contact details of provider: https://edirc.repec.org/data/dvewbus.html .

    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.