Economic growth, convergence, and world food demand and supply

Emiko Fukase, Will Martin
policy research working paper

The objective of this paper is to explore the evolution of world food demand and supply to 2050, extending a simple econometric model developed by Fukase and Martin (2016). In Fukase and Martin (2016), this model allowed us to assess the prospects for net import demand for food in China. Here, we extend our approach to the global level and focus on the implications of income convergence on long-term food demand and supply. On the demand side, per capita consumption of the aggregate food is modeled as a function of real income only, with a functional form developed to allow for consumption that asymptotically approaches a ceiling level (Rask and Rask 2004, 2011). On the supply side, we specify a production equation as a function of real income and agricultural land endowment per capita. This enables us to estimate a simple relationship between the productivity-driven growth of income per capita, declining per capita availability of agricultural land, and the growth of food output for each country.