Muhammad Zakaria and Junyang Xi

The paper empirically examines the effects of trade liberalization reforms on food security in South Asia countries (sacs) using econometric analysis in a panel framework for the period from 1972 to 2013. The estimated results indicate that trade liberalization has a significant positive effect on food production and food security in the region. The results also endorse the role of agriculture factors in improving food production and food security in sacs. The findings indicate that food security is mainly a political problem in South Asia. Solving conflicts politically, violence prevention, the reduction of international arms trade, and the reduction of military expenditures and protection of civil and political rights should be central to policies that address food security issue in the region.

Muhammad Zakaria, Xi Junyang and Bashir Ahmed Fida

The paper empirically examines the effects of trade liberalization on undernourishment and income inequality in South Asian countries (sacs). For empirical analysis data is collected for the period 1972-2013 for five South Asian countries which include Bangladesh, India, Nepal, Pakistan and Sri Lanka. Panel fixed effect technique is used to estimate the model. The estimated results reveal that undernourishment has decreased while income inequality has increased in the region after liberalization. Economic development has reduced both undernourishment and income inequality. The results also endorse the role of agriculture factors in reducing undernourishment and the role of education, urban bias, and political democratization in reducing income inequality in sacs. These results are robust to alternative equation specifications and openness measures. The results provide some important policy implications. It is suggested that South Asian countries have to cope with the problem of malnourishment with high agriculture development and economic growth.