Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Globalization and Food Prices

There were some very good articles in yesterday's edition of The Wall Street Journal that connect agricultural prices to other markets, domestically and in the global economy.

The first piece explains the up-and-down of agricultural prices and how the roller coaster market for commodities (specifically corn and soy beans) makes for a volatile environment for one Iowa farming family. It also accesses some photos, as well as videos and an interactive graphic that is connected to the second piece.

In the second piece, we see how increased globalization is affecting commodity prices with good and not-so-good outcomes. In the comparison piece, a Chinese family prospers while an Ethiopian family struggles on the edge of starvation.

Both of these articles are worth the time and could be the foundation for discussion that connects microeconomics (markets and prices) to macroeconomics (international trade).

Please share any ideas you have on using these articles.

1 comment:

Zenat said...

“Two Families Shifting Fortunes” involves some of the principles of economics. Balto Tumebo lives in Ethiopia with her children. She faces a trade off when deciding whether to stand in the food- aid lines or stay at home to watch over her children. She also has to decide whether she values her goat’s milk or meat. This article also includes the 8th principle which is a country’s standard of living depends on its ability to produce goods and services. Since the two families mentioned in this article live in two different places, one in Beijing and the other in Ethiopia, they would reasonably have different wages with different jobs. Since the family in Beijing works for an Internet company, which is in higher demand than a farmer, they are subsequently paid different wages. The higher the wage, the higher the standard of living.