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Border Price Shocks, Spatial Price Variation, and their Impacts on Poverty in Uganda

Ole Boysen


How does an increase in food prices at the border impact poverty in Uganda given the strong spatial heterogeneity of the country and its limited domestic transportation and communication networks? Recently, a number of studies on the impact of international food prices on poverty in developing countries have been published. However, the role of spatial price transmission in this context remains largely unexplored. This paper targets that niche. We assess the spatial variability and transmission of prices through the analysis of time series and household data using descriptive statistics and regression methods. Subsequently, we apply the findings in a simulation experiment to determine the first-order poverty impacts of a hypothetical 50% increase in border prices for food under the assumption of imperfect spatial price transmission. The poverty results show impacts substantially different from those of a perfect price transmission scenario and also display strong regional differentiation.

Last updated 28 August 2014 by IIIS (Email).