Do increasing prices affect food deprivation in the European Union?
The rise of prices of agricultural commodities in global markets during 2007-2012 was followed by increased consumer food prices around the world. More expensive food may have an impact on consumer food access and thus on their welfare, not only in developing countries but also amongst the most vulnerable in developed countries. Using a longitudinal database from the Statistics on Income and Living Conditions and population-averaged models, we tested whether increasing food prices had an impact on household food deprivation in 26 European Union (EU) member states. Results revealed a significant relationship between food deprivation and the consumer food price index and disposable income. Households in the lowest income quintile in the member states recently acceded to the EU were the most vulnerable to food deprivation. Results also showed that low-income households in densely populated areas were more vulnerable to food deprivation. This should be taken into account when evaluating food assistance programmes that focus on the segments of the population most at risk of food deprivation.
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