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Volatility in agriculture commodity prices in India: Impact and macroeconomic and sector-specific policy responses

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Seema Bathla

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Abstract

Indian Journal of Economics and Development
Year : 2013, Volume : 9, Issue : 4
First page : ( 291) Last page : ( 304)
Print ISSN : 2277-5412. Online ISSN : 2322-0430.
Article DOI : 10.5958/j.2322-0430.9.4.013

Volatility in agriculture commodity prices in India: Impact and macroeconomic and sector-specific policy responses

Bathla Seema
Associate Professor, Centre for the Study of Regional Development, Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi, India. Email: seema.bathla@gmail.com

JEL classification: Q17, C22, E69, E60

Online published on 26 November, 2013.

Abstract
Globalization and trade liberalization have exposed agricultural sector of many developing countries to sudden disturbances, caused not just by demand-supply conditions within their economies but also by volatility in global commodity prices, exchange rate and surge in imports. This paper evaluates the magnitude of sensitivity of Indian agriculture to these factors, and explores policy options that may neutralize their adverse effects, maintain price incentives and stability. The analysis is undertaken for one important tradable commodity, wheat by applying a structural econometric model, separately under the exportable and importable scenarios from 198081 to 2009–10. The findings reveal wheat to be increasingly driven by an incentive structure based on its linkages with world price, exchange rate and other factors. Counterfactual simulation experiments indicate that due to trade and sector-specific policies, wheat price and output tend to be much more resilient to fluctuations in international price and other shocks compared to its exports and imports.