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Food Price Uncertainty and Political Conflict


  • John O'Trakoun


type="main" xml:lang="en"> Waves of concurrent, cross-country political turmoil suggest that global economic forces can serve as a catalyst for intrastate conflict. This article analyses the role of uncertainty shocks to global food commodity prices in generating political conflict in developing countries. I build a simple model to show that shocks to the uncertainty of commodity export prices can elicit civil conflict in a small open economy. Econometric evidence from a cross-country panel data set documenting intrastate civil conflict and global food commodity prices from 1966–90 lends support to this hypothesis. The results suggest that policies which reduce the uncertainty of export prices faced by food commodity exporters can facilitate political stability in conflict-vulnerable countries.

Suggested Citation

  • John O'Trakoun, 2015. "Food Price Uncertainty and Political Conflict," International Finance, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 18(3), pages 299-320, December.
  • Handle: RePEc:bla:intfin:v:18:y:2015:i:3:p:299-320

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