Consequences of a food security strategy for economic welfare, income distribution and land degradation: the Philippine case
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Like many developing countries, the Philippines pursues a food security strategy in which self-sufficiency and price stabilization feature prominently. In addition to their widely debated welfare effects, food policies based on price and trade restrictions may also accelerate land degradation by promoting expansion of relatively erosive grain crops. The paper explores the welfare and environmental implications of food policies, first with a simple heuristic model, then with an applied general equilibrium model. Comparing market restrictions with technical progress as alternative food policy strategies, it is found that the former increase land degradation and reduce welfare; moreover, anti-poverty and distributional benefits often claimed for such interventions may be illusory [CAB Abstracts 2000].