Posner and Becker on World Food Price Prospects.  Economist Gary Becker and legal scholar Richard Posner take up the question "Will World Food Prices Resume their sharp increase?"  Becker:  "the efforts and ingenuity of farmers and researchers are able to greatly increase world food supply to meet even very large increases in the world demand for food."  Posner:  "I am one of those timid souls who worry about the downside of technological advance and economic growth. I find the prospect of continued increases in population and income, and of the technological innovations necessary to cope with those trends, unsettling."   In the near term, however, exchange rate (value of the dollar) is likely to be the biggest factor in dollar denominated food prices.  Can a dollar devaluation be big enough and permanent enough to make this a part of the long term answer?

posted  October 12, 2009 2 p.m.