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Abstract

Given the large share of major staples in the budgets of the poor, governments in many developing countries intervene in food markets to limit variation in the prices of staple foods. This paper examines the recent experience of Madagascar in stabilizing prices through international trade and the implications of adjustments in tariff rates. Using a partial equilibrium model, we quantify the overall costs and benefits of a change in import duties for various household groups, and compare this intervention to a policy of targeted food transfers or security stocks.

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