The Role Of Markets In The World Food Economy
Author(s): D. Gale Johnson, G. Edward Schuh
This book extends the discussion of world food problems by giving explicit recognition to the potential role of markets. The authors highlight the contribution of prices to the solution of food problems in low-income countries, for example, by providing adequate incentives to farmers to expand production, assuring that food supplies can be obtained through trade when needed and giving appropriate signals to consumers. They also document the negative effects on food supply and national welfare of the actual price policies of many Third World governments. While recognizing the problems involved in defining and measuring hunger, as well as in improving the food supply, the authors consider the outlook for future food availability as favorable in terms of continued modest improvement in per capita food supplies at prices, adjusted for inflation, that are likely to continue the slow decline of recent decades. One focus of their comments is the positive roles that governments can and should play in the world food economy, especially in support of research, creation of human capital, and provision of appropriate rural infrastructure.