The Impact of Food Price Shocks on Food Security: Panel Evidence from Tanzania

Rudolf, Robert (1); Harttgen, Kenneth (2) (2016). 'The Impact of Food Price Shocks on Food Security: Panel Evidence from Tanzania' Paper presented at the annual conference of the HDCA, Tokyo 2016.

Using three waves (2008/09, 2010/11, 2012/13) of the Tanzanian National Panel Survey, this study investigates the relationship between changes in food prices and food security in Tanzania. Our findings show that while food security slightly improved for urban Tanzanian households between 2008/09 and 2012/13, it sharply deteriorated for rural households post-2008/09. The latter was accompanied by a significant reduction in the consumption of maize flour and starches which showed strongest price hikes in rural areas. We find a clear negative relationship between regional prices of major staple foods and average individual energy intake. Among rural households, those who are engaged in cropping are less vulnerable to maize flour price hikes, while farmers that cultivate maize benefit from higher maize flour prices. Our panel findings suggest that past cross-section studies tended to overestimate own-price elasticities as well as the maize price elasticity of calorie intake. The results of this study provide immediate implications for national food policy in order to improve both rural and urban livelihoods.

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