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Title: Monitoring the effects of changing food prices on food and nutrition security : the Minimum Calorie Expenditure Share (MCES)
Author: Picchioni, Fiorella
ISNI:       0000 0004 7960 6151
Awarding Body: SOAS University of London
Current Institution: SOAS, University of London
Date of Award: 2017
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The global food crises in 2007-08 re-emphasized the importance of food security and undernutrition in the global policy agenda. In spite of a wide recognition of the socio-economic impacts and ethical importance of guaranteeing food and nutrition security, there are methodological and an interpretative pitfalls in the analysis of food price fluctuations on food and nutrition security. In fact, conflicting views on the "real" impacts of the global food price crises after 2008, stem from the wide reliance on food prices per se to gauge the effects of food price fluctuations on vulnerable population in low-income countries. A key question concerns the extent to which food insecure populations experience food price increases and how far the effects of any food price rises is counteracted by economic and income growth. This suggests that the relationship between food prices and income is critical for food security. Drawing from literature that questions the computation of real food prices, this PhD develops the Minimum Calorie Expenditure Share (MCES), an intuitively appealing metric for describing short term impacts of volatile food prices on different income groups. This thesis adopts an interdisciplinary approach to inform its methodology, drawing on both the agricultural and nutrition literatures. The empirical study is based on data from 2008-2009 household surveys for Mozambique and Bangladesh. The MCES is evaluated against widely adopted food and nutrition security indicators using linear multivariate regression techniques. Overall, the results suggest that the MCES (incorporating the interaction between food prices and income) can be more adequate in monitoring and measuring the effects of food price changes on poor population food and nutrition security. Alongside, the thesis also highlights the numerous challenges associated with developing "universal" metrics, urging for intradisciplinary collaboration directed to the homogenization of protocols and methodological approaches.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral