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The Economics of Food Security

Edited by Raghbendra Jha, Professor of Economics, Head, Arndt–Corden Department of Economics and Executive Director, Australia South Asia Research Centre, Australian National University and Raghav Gaiha, Visiting Scientist, Department of Global Health and Population, Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, Harvard University, US
Professor Jha and Professor Gaiha address important issues of food security in their wide-ranging selection of the most influential published contributions in this area of study. Their comprehensive, original introduction discusses each article and places it within the context of twelve distinct themes, from which emerges a cogent view of the developing scholarly literature in this area and of the challenges that still remain.

These volumes will provide ready access to major landmark contributions in food security and thus be of interest to all academics, policymakers, international organizations and students working in this area.
Two volume set
Extent: 1,520 pp
Hardback Price: $798.00 Web: $718.20
Publication Date: 2016
ISBN: 978 1 78100 917 8
Availability: In Stock

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  • Development Studies
  • Agricultural Economics
  • Development Economics
  • Development Studies
  • Economics and Finance
  • Agricultural Economics
  • Development Economics
  • International Economics
  • Environment
  • Agricultural Economics
Professor Jha and Professor Gaiha address important issues of food security in their wide-ranging selection of the most influential published contributions in this area of study. Their comprehensive, original introduction discusses each article and places it within the context of twelve distinct themes, from which emerges a cogent view of the developing scholarly literature in this area and of the challenges that still remain.

These volumes will provide ready access to major landmark contributions in food security and thus be of interest to all academics, policymakers, international organizations and students working in this area.
‘Although some progress has been achieved in reducing hunger and child undernutrition in recent decades, these scourges remain pervasive. Lack of access of all people to adequate food at all times impairs healthy and productive living. Underweight and stunted children fail to realize their potential cognitive and physical development. This rich and ambitious survey of important contributions over the last two hundred years offers valuable insights into designing more effective policies and better implementation. As recurrence of food crises cannot be ruled out, especially with the unpredictable exacerbation of climate change, their prevention remains a major priority and a daunting policy challenge. Multilateral development agencies, policy makers and scholars would benefit immensely from this survey. The introductory essay by the editors offers a masterly exposition of food security through a remarkable blend of scholarship and deep understanding of policy challenges. This tour de force should shape the development and food security discourse for years to come.’
– Jomo Kwame Sundaram, Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations

72 articles, dating from 1798 to 2014
Contributors include: K. Anderson, G. Becker, J.M. Keynes, T. Malthus, J. Nash, C. O’Grada, M.M. Pitt, A. Sen, T.N. Srinivasan, C.P. Timmer
Volume I



Raghbendra Jha and Raghav Gaiha


1. Thomas Malthus ([1798] 1998), ‘Question Stated – Little Prospect of a Determination of it, from the Enmity of the Opposing Parties – The Principal Argument Against the Perfectibility of Man and of Society has Never been Fairly Answered – Nature of the Difficulty Arising from Population – Outline of the Principal Argument of the Essay’, and ‘The Different Ratio in which Population and Food Increase – The Necessary Effects of these Different Ratios of Increase – Oscillation Produced by them in the Condition of the Lower Classes of Society – Reasons why this Oscillation has Not been so Much Observed as Might be Expected – Three Propositions on which the General Argument of the Essay Depends – The Different States in which Mankind have been Known to Exist Proposed to be Examined with Reference to these Three Propositions’, in An Essay on the Principle of Population, as it Affects the Future Improvement of Society with Remarks on the Speculations of Mr. Godwin, M. Condorcet, and Other Writers, Chapters 1 and 2, Electronic Scholarly Publishing [originally published by J. Johnson, London, UK], 1‒5, 6‒11

2. David Ricardo ([1817] 1988), ‘Ricardo on Population’, Population and Development Review, 14 (2), June, 339–46

3. Ronald L. Meek (1954), ‘Malthus—Yesterday and Today’, Science and Society, 18 (1), Winter, 21–51

4. Robert Dorfman (1989), ‘Thomas Robert Malthus and David Ricardo’, Journal of Economic Perspectives, 3 (3), Summer, 153–64

5. Amartya Sen (1982), ‘The Food Problem: Theory and Policy’, Third World Quarterly, 4 (3), July, 447–59

6. Oded Galor and David N. Weil (2000), ‘Population, Technology, and Growth: From Malthusian Stagnation to the Demographic Transition and Beyond’, American Economic Review, 90 (4), September, 806–28

7. Amartya Sen (1981), ‘Ingredients of Famine Analysis: Availability and Entitlements’, Quarterly Journal of Economics, 96 (3), August, 433–64

8. Martin Ravallion (1997), ‘Famines and Economics’, Journal of Economic Literature, XXXV (3), September, 1205–42

9. Basil Ashton, Kenneth Hill, Alan Piazza and Robin Zeitz (1984), ‘Famine in China, 1958–61’, Population and Development Review, 10 (4), December, 613–45

10. Justin Yifu Lin and Dennis Tao Yang (2000), ‘Food Availability, Entitlements and the Chinese Famine of 1959–61’, Economic Journal, 110 (460), January, 136–58

11. Cormac Ó’Gráda (2008), ‘The Ripple that Drowns? Twentieth-Century Famines in China and India as Economic History’, Economic History Review, Special Issue: Feeding the Masses: Plenty, Want and the Distribution of Food and Drink in Historical Perspective, 61 (S1), August, 5–37

12. Helmut Kloos and Bert Lindtjørn (1994), ‘Malnutrition during Recent Famines in Ethiopia’, Northeast African Studies, 1 (1), 121–36

13. Marcus Noland, Sherman Robinson and Tao Wang (2001), ‘Famine in North Korea: Causes and Cures’, Economic Development and Cultural Change, 49 (4), July, 741–67

14. Cormac Ó Gráda (2007), ‘Making Famine History’, Journal of Economic Literature, XLV (1), March, 5–38

15. Christopher B. Barrett (2010), ‘Measuring Food Insecurity’, Science, 327 (5967), February, 825–8

16. C. Peter Timmer (2012), ‘Behavioral Dimensions of Food Security’, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, Special Feature: Perspective, 109 (31), July, 12315–20

17. Hartwig de Haen, Stephan Klasen and Matin Qaim (2011), ‘What Do We Really Know? Metrics for Food Insecurity and Undernutrition’, Food Policy, 36 (6), December 760–9

18. T.N. Srinivasan (1981), ‘Malnutrition: Some Measurement and Policy Issues’, Journal of Development Economics, 8 (1), February, 3–19

19. David E. Sahn and David C. Stifel (2002), ‘Robust Comparisons of
Malnutrition in Developing Countries’, American Journal of
Agricultural Economics, 84 (3), August, 716–35 378

20. Peter Svedberg (2002), ‘Undernutrition Overestimated’, Economic
Development and Cultural Change, 51 (1), October, 5–36 398

21. Lisa C. Smith and Lawrence Haddad (2002), ‘How Potent Is Economic Growth in Reducing Undernutrition? What Are the Pathways of Impact? New Cross-Country Evidence’, Economic Development and Cultural Change, 51 (1), October, 55–76

22. Partha Dasgupta (1997), ‘Nutritional Status, the Capacity for Work, and Poverty Traps’, Journal of Econometrics, 77 (1), March, 5–37

23. Raghbendra Jha, Raghav Gaiha and Anurag Sharma (2009), ‘Calorie and Micronutrient Deprivation and Poverty Nutrition Traps in Rural India’, World Development, 37 (5), May, 982–91

24. T.N. Srinivasan (1994), ‘Destitution: A Discourse’, Journal of Economic Literature, XXXII (4), December, 1842–55

25. Andrew D. Foster (1995), ‘Household Savings and Human Investment Behavior in Development: Nutrition and Health Investment’, American Economic Review: Papers and Proceedings of the Hundredth and Seventh Annual Meeting of the American Economic Association Washington DC., 85 (2), May, 148–52

26. Gary S. Becker (1991), ‘Altruism in the Family’, in A Treatise on the Family, Chapter 8, Cambridge, MA, USA: Harvard University Press, 277–306, Bibliography

27. Harold Alderman, Pierre-André Chiappori, Lawrence Haddad, John Hoddinott and Ravi Kanbur (1995), ‘Unitary versus Collective Models of the Household: Is it Time to Shift the Burden of Proof?’, World Bank Research Observer, 10 (1), February, 1–19

28. Angus Deaton (1987), The Allocation of Goods within the Household: Adults, Children, and Gender and Appendix, LSMS Working Paper: Number 39, Washington, DC, USA: The World Bank, August, i–v, 1–28, A-1–A-5

29. Mark M. Pitt, Mark R. Rosenzweig and Md. Nazmul Hassan (1990), ‘Productivity, Health, and Inequality in the Intrahousehold Distribution of Food in Low-Income Countries’, American Economic Review, 80 (5), December, 1139–56

30. Agnes R. Quisumbing and Lisa C. Smith (2007), ‘Intrahousehold Allocation, Gender Relations, and Food Security in Developing Countries’, in Per Pinstrup-Andersen and Fuzhi Cheng (eds), Food Policy for Developing Countries: The Role of Government in the Global Food System , Case Study 4–5, Ithaca, NY, USA: Cornell University, 1–13

31. Wei Luo, Fengying Zhai, Shuigao Jin and Keyou Ge (2001), ‘Section 3: World Health Organization Multi-Country Study on Improving Household Food and Nutrition Security for the Vulnerable: Intrahousehold Food Distribution: A Case Study of Eight Provinces in China’, Asia Pacific Journal of Clinical Nutrition, 10 (Supplement 1), June, S19–S28

32. Gustavo J. Bobonis (2009), ‘Is the Allocation of Resources within the Household Efficient? New Evidence from a Randomized Experiment’, Journal of Political Economy, 117 (3), June, 453–503

33. Benjamin Senauer, Marito Garcia and Elizabeth Jacinto (1988), ‘Determinants of the Intrahousehold Allocation of Food in the Rural Philippines’, American Journal of Agricultural Economics, 70 (1), February, 170–80

34. Sonia Bhalotra and Cliff Attfield (1998), ‘Intrahousehold Resource Allocation in Rural Pakistan: A Semiparametric Analysis’, Journal of Applied Econometrics, Special Issue: Application of Semiparametric Methods for Micro-Data, 13 (5), September–October, 463–80

Volume II



An introdution to both volumes by the editors appears in Volume I

1. Ellen Messer (1984), ‘Anthropological Perspectives on Diet’, Annual Review of Anthropology, 13, 205–49

2. Mark M. Pitt (1983), ‘Food Preferences and Nutrition in Rural Bangladesh’, Review of Economics and Statistics, 65 (1), February, 105–14

3. Jere R. Behrman, Anil B. Deolalikar and Barbara L. Wolfe (1988), ‘Nutrients: Impacts and Determinants’, World Bank Economic Review, 2 (3), September, 299–320

4. Jere R. Behrman and Anil Deolalikar (1989), ‘Is Variety the Spice of Life? Implications for Calorie Intake’, Review of Economics and Statistics, 71(4), November, 666–72

5. C. Peter Timmer (1981), ‘Is There “Curvature” in the Slutsky Matrix?’, Review of Economics and Statistics, 63 (3), August, 395–402

6. Barry M. Popkin, Linda S. Adair and Shu Wen Ng (2012), ‘Global Nutrition Transition and the Pandemic of Obesity in Developing Countries’, Nutrition Reviews, 70 (1), January, 3–21

7. Barry M. Popkin (2006), ‘Global Nutrition Dynamics: The World is Shifting Rapidly toward a Diet Linked with Noncommunicable Diseases’, American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, 84 (2), August, 289–98

8. Xiaoyong Zhang, Hans Dagevos, Yuna He, Ivo van der Lans and Fengying Zhai (2008), ‘Consumption and Corpulence in China: A Consumer Segmentation Study Based on the Food Perspective’, Food Policy, 33 (1), February, 37–47

9. Eileen T. Kennedy (2005), ‘The Global Face of Nutrition: What Can Governments and Industry Do?’, Journal of Nutrition, Symposium: Modifying the Food Environment: Energy Density, Food Costs, and Portion Size, 135 (4), April, 913–15

10. Alan D. Lopez, Christopher J.L. Murray, Emmanuela Gakidou et al. (2014), ‘Global, Regional, and National Prevalence of Overweight and Obesity in Children and Adults during 1980–2013: A Systematic Analysis for the Global Burden of Disease Study 2013’, The Lancet, 384, August, 766–81

11. Lawrence Haddad, Harold Alderman, Simon Appleton, Lina Song and Yisehac Yohannes (2003), ‘Reducing Child Malnutrition: How Far Does Income Growth Take Us?’, World Bank Economic Review, 17 (1), June, 107–31

12. Farzana Afridi (2010), ‘Child Welfare Programs and Child Nutrition: Evidence from a Mandated School Meal Program in India’, Journal of Development Economics, 92 (2), July, 152–65

13. C. Peter Timmer (2010), ‘Reflections on Food Crises Past’, Food Policy, 35 (1), February, 1–11

14. Eugenio Bobenrieth, Brian Wright and Di Zeng (2013), ‘Stocks-touse Ratios and Prices as Indicators of Vulnerability to Spikes in Global Cereal Markets’, Agricultural Economics, 44 (S1 Supplement), November, 43–52

15. Kym Anderson, Maros Ivanic and William J. Martin (2013), ‘Food Price Spikes, Price Insulation, and Poverty’, in Jean-Paul Chavas, David Hummels and Brian D. Wright (eds), The Economics of Food Price Volatility, Chapter 8, Chicago, IL, USA and London, UK: University of Chicago Press, 311–44

16. Maros Ivanic and Will Martin (2008), ‘Implications of Higher Global Food Prices for Poverty in Low-Income Countries’, World Bank: Policy Research Working Paper 4594, Washington, DC, USA: World Bank, 1–31, 33–54

17. Emmanuel Skoufias, Sailesh Tiwari and Hassan Zaman (2012), ‘Crises, Food Prices, and the Income Elasticity of Micronutrients: Estimates from Indonesia’, World Bank Economic Review, 26 (3), 415–42

18. David Dawe (2008), ‘Have Recent Increases in International Cereal Prices been Transmitted to Domestic Economies? The Experience in Seven Large Asian Countries’, ESA Working Paper No. 08-03, Agricultural Development Economics Division: Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, April, 2–11

19. Kelvin Balcombe, Alastair Bailey and Jonathan Brooks (2007), ‘Threshold Effects in Price Transmission: The Case of Brazilian Wheat, Maize, and Soya Prices’, American Journal of Agricultural Economics, 89 (2), May, 308–23

20. Benjamin Senauer (2008), ‘Food Market Effects of a Global Resource Shift Toward Bioenergy’, American Journal of Agricultural Economics , 90 (5), December, 1226–32

21. C. Peter Timmer (2009), ‘Do Supermarkets Change the Food Policy Agenda?’, World Development , 37 (11), November, 1812–19

22. John Toye (2009), ‘Development with Dearer Food: Can the Invisible Hand Guide Us?’, Journal of International Development, Special Issue: Development Studies Association Conference 2008: Development’s Invisible Hands , 21 (6), August, 757–64


23. J.M. Keynes (1938), ‘The Policy of Government Storage of Foodstuffs and Raw Materials’, Economic Journal , 48 (191), September, 449–60

24. D.M.G. Newbery and J.E. Stiglitz (1979), ‘The Theory of Commodity Price Stabilisation Rules: Welfare Impacts and Supply Responses’, Economic Journal , 89 (356), December, 799–817

25. Odin Knudsen and John Nash (1990), ‘Domestic Price Stabilization Schemes in Developing Countries’, Economic Development and Cultural Change , 38 (3), April, 539–58

26. Brian D. Wright (2012), ‘International Grain Reserves and Other Instruments to Address Volatility in Grain Markets’, World Bank Research Observer , 27 (2), August, 222–60

27. A.C. Pigou (1948), ‘The Food Subsidies’, Economic Journal, 58 (230), June, 202–9

28. Timothy Besley and Ravi Kanbur (1988), ‘Food Subsidies and Poverty Alleviation’, Economic Journal , 98 (392), September, 701–19

29. Harold Alderman and Kathy Lindert (1998), ‘The Potential and Limitations of Self-Targeted Food Subsidies’, World Bank Research Observer , 13 (2), August, 213–29

30. Robert T. Jensen and Nolan H. Miller (2011), ‘Do Consumer Price Subsidies Really Improve Nutrition?’, Review of Economics and Statistics , 93 (4), November, 1205–23

31. David E. Sahn and Harold Alderman (1996), ‘The Effect of Food Subsidies on Labor Supply in Sri Lanka’, Economic Development and Cultural Change , 45 (1), October, 125–45

32. Arnab K. Basu and Matin Qaim (2007), ‘On the Adoption of Genetically Modified Seeds in Developing Countries and the Optimal Types of Government Intervention’, American Journal of Agricultural Economics, 89 (3), August, 784–804

33. Ronald J. Herring (2005), ‘Miracle Seeds, Suicide Seeds, and the Poor: GMOs, NGOs, Farmers, and the State’, in Raka Ray and Mary Fainsod Katzenstein (eds), Social Movements in India: Poverty, Power and Politics, Chapter 8, Lanham, MD, USA: Rowman and Littlefield, 203–32

34. Ronald J. Herring (2007), ‘The Genomics Revolution and Development Studies: Science, Poverty and Politics’, Journal of Development Studies, Special Issue: Transgenics and the Poor: Biotechnology in Development Studies, 43 (1), January, 1–30

35. C. Peter Timmer (2003), ‘Presidential Lecture: Biotechnology and Food Systems in Developing Countries’, Journal of Nutrition, 133 (11), November, 3319–22

36. John W. Mellor (1980), ‘Food Aid and Nutrition’, American Journal of Agricultural Economics, 62 (5), December, 979–83

37. Foresight Project (2011), ‘Challenge C: Ending Hunger’, in The Future of Food and Farming: Challenges and Choices for Global Sustainability Final Project Report, Chapter 6, London, UK: Government Office for Science, 115–28