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Rising food prices, food price volatility, and political unrest

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  • Bellemare, Marc F.

Abstract

Do food prices cause political unrest? Throughout history, riots appear to have frequently broken out as a consequence of high food prices. This paper studies the impact of food prices on political unrest using monthly data on food prices at the international level. Because food prices and political unrest are jointly determined, the incidence of natural disasters in a given month is used in an attempt to identify the causal relationship between food prices and political unrest. Empirical results indicate that between January 1990 and January 2011, food price increases have led to increased political unrest, whereas food price volatility has been associated with decreases in political unrest. These findings are consistent with those of the applied microeconomics literature on the welfare impacts of food prices.

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Paper provided by University Library of Munich, Germany in its series MPRA Paper with number 31888.

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Date of creation: 28 Jun 2011
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Handle: RePEc:pra:mprapa:31888

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Keywords: Food Prices; Price Volatility; Political Unrest; Food Riots;

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  1. Chernozhukov, Victor & Hansen, Christian, 2008. "The reduced form: A simple approach to inference with weak instruments," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 100(1), pages 68-71, July.
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  9. Christopher Gilbert & Wyn Morgan, 2010. "Has food price volatility risen?," Department of Economics Working Papers 1002, Department of Economics, University of Trento, Italia.
  10. David Str�mberg, 2007. "Natural Disasters, Economic Development, and Humanitarian Aid," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 21(3), pages 199-222, Summer.
  11. Bellemare, Marc F. & Barrett, Christopher B. & Just, David R., 2010. "The Welfare Impacts of Commodity Price Fluctuations: Evidence from Rural Ethiopia," MPRA Paper 24457, University Library of Munich, Germany.
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Citations

Blog mentions

As found by EconAcademics.org, the blog aggregator for Economics research:
  1. Identifying Causal Relationships vs. Ruling Out All Other Possible Causes
    by Marc F. Bellemare in Marc F. Bellemare on 2012-04-24 09:00:21
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Cited by:
  1. Etienne, Xiaoli L. & Irwin, Scott H. & Garcia, Philip, 2013. "Dissecting Corn Price Movements with Directed Acyclic Graphs," 2013 Annual Meeting, August 4-6, 2013, Washington, D.C. 151279, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association.
  2. Nicole M. Aulerich & Scott H. Irwin & Philip Garcia, 2013. "Bubbles, Food Prices, and Speculation: Evidence from the CFTC’s Daily Large Trader Data Files," NBER Working Papers 19065, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. Tack, Jesse B. & Ubilava, David, 2012. "The Effect of the El Nino Southern Oscillation on U.S. Corn Production and Downside Risk," 2012 Annual Meeting, February 4-7, 2012, Birmingham, Alabama 119785, Southern Agricultural Economics Association.
  4. Bellemare, Marc F. & Carnes, Nicholas, 2013. "Why Do Members of Congress Support Agricultural Protection?," MPRA Paper 47629, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  5. Pio Baake & Steffen Huck, 2013. "Crop Failures and Export Tariffs," Discussion Papers of DIW Berlin 1342, DIW Berlin, German Institute for Economic Research.
  6. Christophe Gouel, 2013. "Food Price Volatility and Domestic Stabilization Policies in Developing Countries," NBER Working Papers 18934, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  7. Marc F. Bellemare, 2013. "Comment on "Food Price Spikes, Price Insulation and Poverty"," NBER Chapters, in: The Economics of Food Price Volatility National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.

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