Consistency between Theory and Practice in Policy Recommendation by International Organizations for Extreme Price and Extreme Volatility Situations

, Notes brèves
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Résumé

Food prices have increased significantly in the past few years, with particularly sharp spikes seen during the 2007/08 season. There is some agreement on the causes of such price increases: (a) weather shocks that negatively affected agricultural production; (b) soaring energy and fertilizer costs; (c) rapidly growing income in developing countries, especially in China and India; (d) the devaluation of the dollar against most major currencies; (e) increasing demand for biofuels; and (f) changes in land use patterns.  While there is no consensus on the relative importance of each of these culprits, it is widely agreed that most of these factors will further increase food prices in the medium and long run. Prices may become more volatile as well, as evidenced by the subsequent food crisis in 2010. Climate change will induce more weather variability, leading to erratic production patterns. Moreover, the volatile nature of the market is likely to induce possible speculation and exacerbating price spikes. Additionally, in an effort to shield themselves from price fluctuations, different countries may implement isolating policies, further exacerbating volatility.

Torero M. 2015. "Consistency between Theory and Practice in Policy Recommendation by International Organizations for Extreme Price and Extreme Volatility Situations" Ferdi Note Brève B131, décembre 2015