Political Science > Agriculture & Food Policy

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Mr. Christian Bogmans, Mr. Andrea Pescatori, and Ervin Prifti
We study how two aspects of food insecurity - caloric insufficiency and diet composition - are affected by aggregate economic fluctuations. The use of cross-country panel data allows us to adopt a global prospective on the identification of the macroeconomic determinants of food insecurity. Income shocks are the most relevant driver of food insecurity, displaying high elasticities at the early stages of economic development. The role of food price shocks is more limited. Social protection has a direct effect and mitigates the impact of income shocks. Effects are highly heterogeneous across a range of structural characteristics of the economy, highlighting the role of distributional aspects and of food import dependency.
International Monetary Fund
The aim of the paper is to shift the focus of famine analysis away from food supply towards the macroeconomic determinants of food entitlement—i.e., to the ability of individuals to purchase food. Towards this end, we develop a model to demonstrate how loose monetary and fiscal policies may give rise to famine even when there is no change in per capita food output. We illustrate our findings with a description of the 1974 Bangladesh famine.