Impacts of the 2016-17 Food Insecurity Response Program on maize prices in Malawi
No 277330, 2018 Conference, July 28-August 2, 2018, Vancouver, British Columbia from International Association of Agricultural Economists
In early 2016, Malawi suffered its second consecutive year of harvest failure. An emergency was declared in April 2016 and the resulting humanitarian response, known as the Food Insecurity Response Program (FIRP), was of unprecedented scale: almost 40 percent of the population received in-kind food or cash transfers (or both) at an estimated cost of US$ 287 million. Yet despite the extensive nature of the response, prices for the main food staple, maize, stayed relatively flat throughout most of the year and then declined during the pre-harvest lean season. This paper examines what explains this paradox, focusing on why food distribution in-kind did not depress maize prices while cash transfers did not raise them, using daily information on maize prices, in-kind food distribution and cash transfers from ten major markets during the height of the FIRP. Time series methods are used to analyze the properties of the series and model the formation of maize prices using autoregressive distributed lag models. Limited evidence of price linkages between markets and almost no impact of food distribution and cash transfers on maize prices is found. Sen s distinction between direct and trade-based entitlements is used to help explain this paradox. Acknowledgement :
Keywords: Food; Security; and; Poverty (search for similar items in EconPapers)
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Persistent link: https://EconPapers.repec.org/RePEc:ags:iaae18:277330
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