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Food Prices, Structural Change, and MPI

Swati Mishra's picture

After escalating for eight consecutive months, food prices have finally reached an all time high. Due to this unprecedented spike, FAO expects a tightening of the global cereal supply in coming months. According to a Forbes article, "the situation has prompted experts to warn of a global food crisis reminiscent of the spike in food costs that in 2008 caused various riots.”

To add to the concern are high oil prices, which the FAO thinks are a key factor driving the food price increase. However, IMF researchers believe that bad weather and rising demands for bio fuels are also to blame. They also stressed on the fact that it will take years for farmers to increase their production to meet rising demand for food, which “reflects structural changes in the global economy that will not be reversed.”

Speaking of structural change, Dani Rodrik has an interesting post titled ‘More on growth-reducing structural change‘, where he analyzes how labor moves from high- to-low productivity activities. The topic of ‘Structural Change’ is very close to us at Let’s Talk Development, and to learn more, click here.

Remember the Multidimensional Poverty Index (MPI) debate last year? If not, you can read all about it here. If yes, then you will enjoy this blog post on ‘Aid Thoughts’ discussing the recent talk/debate between Martin Ravallion, Director of Research Group, World Bank, and James Foster, one of the inventors of MPI. You can also watch the video here. Also, there is a talk by Justin Yifu Lin titled 'Beyond 'Keynesianism and the New, New Normal' delivered on February 28 at the Council on Foreign Relations.

Unrest continues in the Arab World. However, amid this tumult it is important to start moving towards a open and representative societies to create greater trade integration with in the region’, argues Jean-Pierre Chauffour of the Bank’s Middle East and North Africa Region, in a post on EuVox.

And finally, read this interesting post by Inessa Love, from the Bank’s Development Research Group, on ‘How Corporate Stress Testing Can Enhance Bank Stress Testing’.

Some other interesting links:

World Bank publishes latest commodity prices: February 2011’ by John Baffes and Betty Dow
What can poverty researchers in the UK learn from the South and vice versa?’ by Duncan Green
How can we achieve development goals if we ignore human rights?’ by Annie Kelly