Person:
Larson, Donald F.

Development Research Group, World Bank
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Fields of Specialization
Rural Development Policy; Natural Resource Policy; Agricultural Productivity and Growth; Climate Change Policy and Markets; Commodity Markets and Risk
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Development Research Group, World Bank
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Last updated: January 31, 2023
Biography
Donald F. Larson is a Senior Economist with the World Bank’s Development Research Group. He holds a B.A in economics from the College of William and Mary, an M.A. in economics from Virginia Tech, and a Ph.D. in Agricultural and Resource Economics from the University of Maryland. With colleagues, he has authored or edited five books, including An African Green Revolution: Finding Ways to Boost Productivity on Small Farms, a forthcoming volume from Springer, and The Clean Development Mechanism: An Early History of Unanticipated Outcomes, a forthcoming volume from World Scientific. He has published numerous book chapters and journal articles, with an emphasis on agricultural productivity and growth; food and rural development policies; natural resource policies; the institutions and markets related to climate change; and the performance of commodity futures and risk markets. During his time with the World Bank, Don has participated in policy discussion in Africa, Eastern Europe, Central Asia, East Asia, Latin America, and the Caribbean. He was a member of the team that launched the World Bank’s Prototype Carbon Fund.  
Citations 168 Scopus

Publication Search Results

Now showing 1 - 3 of 3
  • Publication
    Food Security and Storage in the Middle East and North Africa
    (World Bank, Washington, DC, 2012-04) Larson, Donald F.; Gouel, Christophe; Cafiero, Carlo; Roberts, John
    In times of highly volatile commodity markets, governments often try to protect their populations from rapidly-rising food prices, which can be particularly harsh for the poor. A potential solution for food-deficit countries is to hold strategic reserves, which can be called on when international prices spike. But how large should strategic stockpiles be? This paper develops a dynamic storage model for wheat in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region, where imported wheat dominates the average diet. The paper uses the model to analyze a strategy that sets aside wheat stockpiles, which can be used when needed to keep domestic prices below a targeted price. This paper shows that if the target is set high and reserves are adequate, the strategy can be effective and robust. Contrary to most interventions, strategic storage policies are counter-cyclical and, when the importing region is sufficiently large, a regional policy can smooth global prices. This paper shows that this is the case for the MENA region. Nevertheless, the policy is more costly than the pro-cyclical policy of a targeted intervention that directly offsets high prices with a subsidy similar to food stamps.
  • Publication
    Blue Water and the Consequences of Alternative Food Security Policies in the Middle East and North Africa for Water Security
    (World Bank, Washington, DC, 2013-05) Larson, Donald F.
    In the Middle East and North Africa, food security and water security are tightly entwined. In particular, choices about the extent to which food security policies rely on trade rather than domestically produced staples have stark consequences for the region's limited water resources. This paper builds on previous modeling results comparing the cost and benefits of policies to protect consumers against surging international wheat prices, and expands the analysis to consider the consequences of the policies for water resources. A self-sufficiency policy is analyzed as well. Results suggest that trade-based food security policies have no significant effect on the sustainability of water resources, while the costs of policies based on self-sufficiency for water resources are high. The analysis also shows that while information about the water footprint of alternative production systems is helpful, a corresponding economic footprint that fully measures the resource cost of water is needed to concisely rank alternative policies in economic terms that are consistent with sustainable outcomes.
  • Publication
    The Grain Chain : Food Security and Managing Wheat Imports in Arab Countries
    (World Bank, Washington, DC, 2011-12) Lampietti, Julian; Larson, Donald F.; Battat, Michelle; Erekat, Dana; De Hartog, Arnold; Michaels, Sean
    Arab countries depend heavily on imported food, particularly wheat. Population growth, rising incomes, and climate change will only increase their dependency on wheat imports, thereby making Arab countries even more exposed to international market volatility. A recent World Bank study, 'the grain chain: food security and managing wheat imports in Arab countries,' identifies key bottlenecks in the wheat-import supply chain (WISC) and some possible remedies. Efficiency improvements to the supply chain can improve food security. This smart lesson provides a summary of the relevant issues.