Food Price Surges and Poverty in Urban Colombia: New Evidence from Household Survey Data


The present study simulates the impacts of price surges in 2006-2008 on household poverty in the main Colombian cities. It is found that the price surges increased both extreme and moderate poverty in urban areas in short and medium terms. However, the magnitude of poverty rise is not homogeneous geographically or by household types – e.g., the poorest or less educated households were more badly affected than the wealthier or educated households. We suggest 'demographic targeting' or 'geographical targeting' as a policy option that selects and supports poor households by demographic characteristics or by geographical areas according to the degree of vulnerability. Protecting those households from food price shocks would be still important now given that rising and volatile food prices have continued due to erratic climate patterns and demand and supply conditions along with economic and financial crisis.


food price surges, urban poverty, Colombia

JEL Classification

C21, I32, O15, O54


School of Social Sciences, University of Manchester, UK

Katsushi S. IMAI
School of Social Sciences, University of Manchester, UK