Market Failure

Market failure famines occur when free, competitive market forces, driven by agriculture, transportation, communication and trade, and enabled by an abiding government fail to assure minimal entitlement to food, either directly (through subsistence) or via trade for a large sector of society. Following Amartya Sen, entitlement failure is an economic phenomenon, broadly defined, in which individuals and households are unable to obtain sufficient amounts of food through all available legal means (cash, labor, skills, credit, and other assets that comprise 'endowment') at the market's existing terms of exchange (costs of securing sufficient amounts of food). Combinations of loss of endowment and adverse shifts in the conditions of exchange (e.g., spikes in grain prices) can lead to certain classes of society being severely deprived of food. Component causes that lead to market failure-driven famine are complex, interacting over an extended time

Precipitating event

Earliest cause

Other causes

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