In an article published in early 1982, Lester Brown painted a pessimistic picture about the future of the world food situation: The period of global food security is over … the worldwide effort to expand food production is losing momentum … world food supplies are tightening and the slim margin between food production and population growth continues to narrow’ (Brown, 1982). Yet later in that very year the real prices of both corn and wheat were as low as they had been since the depth of the Great Depression, the USA was idling land in an unsuccessful attempt to bring supply in balance with demand, and stocks of grain were at near-record levels. In 1983 US policy makers idled still more land by paying farmers with government stocks to set aside further land in the hope that in this way costly stocks would be reduced along with government expenditures in dollar terms.


Exchange Rate Soil Erosion Real Exchange Rate World Food Capita Production 
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Copyright information

© International Economic Association 1987

Authors and Affiliations

  • G. Edward Schuh
    • 1
  1. 1.University of MinnesotaUSA

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