The Effects of Rising Food and Fuel Costs in Pakistan
The Lahore Journal of Economics, Special Edition, pp. 117-138, September 2008
25 Pages Posted: 24 Nov 2009
Date Written: September 2008
The dramatic increase in international food and fuel prices in recent times is a crucial issue for developing countries and the most vulnerable to these price shocks are the poorest segments of society. In countries like Pakistan, the discussion has focused on the impact of substantially higher food and fuel prices on poverty. This paper used PSLM and MICS household level data to analyze the impact of higher food and energy prices on the poverty head count and the poverty gap ratio in Pakistan. Simulated food and energy price shocks present some important results: First, the impact of food price increases on Pakistani poverty levels is substantially greater than the impact of energy price increases. Second, the impact of food price inflation on Pakistani poverty levels is significantly higher for rural populations as compared to urban populations. Finally, food price inflation can lead to significant increases in Pakistani poverty levels: For Pakistan as a whole, a 20% increase in food prices would lead to an 8% increase in the poverty head count.
Keywords: Pakistan, Poverty, Inflation, Household Budget, Food, Fuel
JEL Classification: D33, E3, R21
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