Food Prices and the Welfare of Poor Consumers


Ethan Ligon


food access, global food system, poverty, SNAP, WIC


Giannini Foundation of Agriculture Economics

Year Published:


Policy Summary

Ligon believes that increases in the global price of food will have a larger impact on people living in poverty than people of higher socioeconomic status because people living in poverty devote a greater portion of their income to purchasing food. He argues that if global food prices increase substantially, people will be pushed into poverty and forced to reallocate funding from other areas like housing to avoid starvationHis argument can be extended to promote tying social service benefits to the cost of inflation. As the cost of food and other necessities increases, programs such as WIC and SNAP should increase their benefits accordingly.   

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