Understanding Challenges to Food Security in Dry Arab Micro-States: Evidence from Qatari Micro-Data

Syed Abul Basher 1 , David Raboy 2 , Simeon Kaitibie 3 ,  and Ishrat Hossain 3
  • 1 Department of Research and Monetary Policy, Qatar Central Bank, Doha, Qatar
  • 2 Patton Boggs LLP, 2500 M Street, Washington, DC 20037, USA
  • 3 Department of Finance and Economics, Qatar University, Doha, Qatar; Qatar National Food Security Programme, Doha, Qatar
Syed Abul Basher, David Raboy, Simeon Kaitibie and Ishrat Hossain

Abstract

Using Qatar as a case study, we exploit a novel micro-data set for 102 raw agricultural imported commodities on a shipment-by-shipment basis over the period January 1, 2005 to June 30, 2010. The data comprise over half a million individual observations, with a very rich set of characteristic specifications. Several interesting initial results emerge from the analysis. First, we find evidence of import-price volatility far in excess of world price volatility across a wide spectrum of commodities. Second, supply origins for virtually all commodities are highly concentrated. In many cases, commodities are sole sourced. Third, although less so, concentration is evidenced among Qatari importing companies for certain commodities. Fourth, we notice anomalies that lead to inefficient shipping methodologies and associated increased costs. The paper concludes by providing an empirical illustration of hedonic price modeling for barley followed by guidance for future empirical research.

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The Journal of Agricultural & Food Industrial Organization (JAFIO) is a unique forum for empirical and theoretical research in industrial organization with a special focus on agricultural and food industries worldwide. JAFIO is the only international journal devoted solely to theoretical and empirical industrial organization as applied to agricultural and food systems which link input suppliers, farmers, processors, and retailers.

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