Thursday, April 17, 2008


Professor Gary Becker offers an opinion on why export restrictions on food and other prevailing measures of intervention and policy failures are having inequitable and negative outcome effects (link):

"Some analysts have justified these export restrictions as a way to combat the effect of rising food prices on poverty. However, poverty is much more prevalent among rural than urban families in developing countries like China, Egypt, India and Vietnam. So restrictions on food exports in developing nations not only lower the efficiency of their food production, but also usually raise inequality and overall poverty. The greater political clout of urban households in developing nations is the pressure behind the support for these inefficient and inequitable export restrictions, just as the greater political clout of farmers in developed nations maintains the inefficient, and probably energy-wasteful, ethanol subsidies in the United States and other rich countries."

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