Much like 2008, the world rice market seems destined for another price shock, with very aggressive buyin techniques by the Philippines fueling the run-up in prices.
Visiting fellow Nora Lustig examines the policy dilemmas rising food prices force on developing countries. Letting prices adjust can generate inflationary pressure while efforts to stabilize domestic prices often exacerbate global price increases; during the recent food price crisis, many countries chose instead to shift the burden back to international markets.
The net effect of supermarkets in the developing world will be to improve the welfare of consumers, but the extent of that benefit and how well it is distributed are open questions. Many factors, including the fate of small farmers, traditional traders, and mom-and-pop shops, will come into play, and any judgment of the supermarket revolution has to consider them all. In this CGD working paper, non-resident fellow Peter Timmer draws from many perspectives to assess the effect the supermarket revolution may have on poverty alleviation.