Lukas Kornher, Matthias Kalkuhl | Global Food Security
With the onset of the global food crisis, the discussion about the use and misuse of agricultural market interventions regained academic attention. As a result of economies of scale, centralized policy implementation at the regional level has the potential to reduce the budgetary costs of policies. Borrowing from the literature on international unions and international policy coordination, we develop a conceptual framework to analyze when regional policy implementation makes sense. This is the case whenever spill-overs from centralization are large and policy preferences, driven by country-specific characteristics, are homogeneous. Subsequently, we examine the advantageousness of centralized policy implementation for the West African region regarding the most common food security policies. We show that centralization of trade policies and emergency food reserves is beneficial, while buffer stocks, safety net policies, and producer support policies should be implemented at the national level.