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A Qualitative Analysis of Policymaking on the Food Price Crisis in the Andean Region: Preparing for the Next Crisis

Jose Cuesta ()

The European Journal of Development Research, 2011, vol. 23, issue 1, 72-93

Abstract: The article argues that the question of what are the most effective policies to address the food price crisis remains largely unanswered, despite the huge analytical effort to understand its causes and consequences. Partly, this is because instruments of policy analysis are based either on a description of interventions, lacking any assessment of the merits of the policy, or on sophisticated, country-specific quantitative analyses sensitive to assumptions and data limitations. The article uses an intermediate analytical tool that is flexible yet relevant to investigate potential impacts of interventions across key policy dimensions: coverage, fiscal impact, efficiency and sustainability. The exercise is applied to interventions adopted by the Andean countries to address the food price crisis. It concludes that they are far from adopting a ‘desirable’ set of interventions.Le présent article soutient que la question de la politique la plus efficace pour faire face à la crise des prix alimentaires reste en grande partie sans réponse, malgré les nombreux efforts analytiques déployés pour comprendre ses causes et conséquences. Ceci s’explique, en partie, par le fait que les outils d’analyse des politiques reposent soit sur une description des interventions, omettant d’évaluer les mérites de ces politiques, soit sur des analyses quantitatives sophistiquées et spécifiques à chaque pays et donc sensibles aux hypothèses et aux insuffisances concernant les données. Cet article mobilise un outil analytique intermédiaire flexible mais pertinent pour examiner les impacts potentiels des interventions, au travers de dimensions de politiques clés: couverture, impact fiscal, efficience et durabilité. Nous appliquons cette démarche aux interventions mises en œuvre par les pays andins pour répondre à la crise des prix alimentaires, et concluons que ces pays n’ont pas sélectionné l’ensemble le plus ‘souhaitable’ d’interventions, loin s’en faut.

Date: 2011
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The European Journal of Development Research is currently edited by Spencer Henson and Natalia Lorenzoni

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