Explaining the African food riots of 2007–2008: An empirical analysis
A sharp escalation in worldwide commodity prices precipitated the global food crisis of 2007–2008, affecting the majority of the world’s poor, causing protests in developing countries and presenting policymakers with the challenge of simultaneously addressing hunger, poverty, and political instability. These food price shocks fomented violent civil responses in some countries, but not others, offering a unique opportunity to assess the factors that contributed to these disturbances. We explore this question empirically with specific reference to Africa, where “food riots” occurred in at least 14 countries. By examining the socio-economic and political conditions facing African countries, we attempt to answer why only some countries in Africa witnessed food riots in late 2007 and early 2008, while others did not. Our empirical analysis demonstrates that higher levels of poverty (as proxied by the Human Poverty Index), restricted access to and availability of food, urbanization, a coastal location, more oppressive regimes and stronger civil societies are associated with a higher likelihood of riots occurring. We also examine three country cases (Egypt, Mozambique, Niger) which represent different circumstances and responses to the food crisis, and identify specific factors that were associated with food protests in each case. Our study highlights the importance of pro-poor policies and investments and improved governance in addressing the problems facing the poor and in helping secure political stability. As the frequency and variability of natural disasters increase in response to climate change, such policies can serve to protect the poor from the debilitating consequences of the resulting shocks.
If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.
As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to look for a different version under "Related research" (further below) or search for a different version of it.
References listed on IDEAS
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- Nora Lustig, 2009.
"Coping with Rising Food Prices: Policy Dilemmas in the Developing World,"
0907, Tulane University, Department of Economics.
- Nora Lustig, 2009. "Coping with Rising Food Prices: Policy Dilemmas in the Developing World," Working Papers id:2241, eSocialSciences.
- Nora Lustig, 2009. "Coping with Rising Food Prices: Policy Dilemmas in the Developing World," Working Papers 2009-04, The George Washington University, Institute for International Economic Policy.
- Nora Lustig, 2009. "Coping with Rising Food Prices: Policy Dilemmas in the Developing World," Working Papers 164, Center for Global Development.
- Maros Ivanic & Will Martin, 2008. "Implications of higher global food prices for poverty in low-income countries-super-1," Agricultural Economics, International Association of Agricultural Economists, vol. 39(s1), pages 405-416, November.
- del Ninno, Carlo & Dorosh, Paul A. & Subbarao, Kalanidhi, 2007. "Food aid, domestic policy and food security: Contrasting experiences from South Asia and sub-Saharan Africa," Food Policy, Elsevier, vol. 32(4), pages 413-435, August.
- Robert MacCulloch & Silvia Pezzini, 2010.
"The Roles of Freedom, Growth, and Religion in the Taste for Revolution,"
Journal of Law and Economics,
University of Chicago Press, vol. 53(2), pages 329-358, 05.
- Robert MacCulloch & Silvia Pezzini, 2002. "The Role of Freedom, Growth and Religion in the Taste for Revolution," STICERD - Development Economics Papers - From 2008 this series has been superseded by Economic Organisation and Public Policy Discussion Papers 36, Suntory and Toyota International Centres for Economics and Related Disciplines, LSE.
- Robert MacCulloch & Silvia Pezzini, 2004. "The Role of Freedom, Growth and Religion in the Taste for Revolution," Law and Economics 0405002, EconWPA.
- Robert MacCulloch & Silvia Pezzini, 2002. "The role of freedom, growth and religion in the taste for revolution," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 6646, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
- Pezzini, Silvia & Robert MacCulloch, 2003. "The Role of Freedom, Growth and Religion in the Taste for Revolution," Royal Economic Society Annual Conference 2003 163, Royal Economic Society.
- Silvia Pezzini & Robert MacCulloch, 2003. "The role of freedom, growth and religion in the taste for revolution," Departmental Working Papers 2003-08, Department of Economics, Management and Quantitative Methods at Università degli Studi di Milano.
- Headey, Derek & Fan, Shenggen, 2008.
"Anatomy of a crisis: The causes and consequences of surging food prices,"
IFPRI discussion papers
831, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).
- Derek Headey & Shenggen Fan, 2008. "Anatomy of a crisis: the causes and consequences of surging food prices," Agricultural Economics, International Association of Agricultural Economists, vol. 39(s1), pages 375-391, November.
- John Luke Gallup & Jeffrey D. Sachs & Andrew Mellinger, 1999. "Geography and Economic Development," CID Working Papers 1, Center for International Development at Harvard University.
- Collier, Paul & Hoeffler, Anke, 2007. "Civil War," Handbook of Defense Economics, Elsevier.
- Benson, Todd & Minot, Nicholas & Pender, John & Robles, Miguel & von Braun, Joachim, 2008. "Global food crises: Monitoring and assessing impact to inform policy responses," Food policy reports 19, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).
- Ivanic, Maros & Martin, Will, 2008. "Implications of higher global food prices for poverty in low-income countries," Policy Research Working Paper Series 4594, The World Bank.
- Nelson, Gerald C. & Rosegrant, Mark W. & Koo, Jawoo & Robertson, Richard & Sulser, Timothy & Zhu, Tingju & Ringler, Claudia & Msangi, Siwa & Palazzo, Amanda & Batka, Miroslav & Magalhaes, Marilia & Va, 2009. "Climate change: Impact on agriculture and costs of adaptation," Food policy reports 21, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).
- Robert Mendelsohn & Ariel Dinar, 2009. "Climate Change and Agriculture," Books, Edward Elgar Publishing, number 12990.
- Collier, Paul & Hoeffler, Anke, 1998. "On Economic Causes of Civil War," Oxford Economic Papers, Oxford University Press, vol. 50(4), pages 563-573, October.
- Paul Collier & Anke Hoeffler, 2004.
"Greed and grievance in civil war,"
Oxford Economic Papers,
Oxford University Press, vol. 56(4), pages 563-595, October.
- von Braun, Joachim & Ahmed, Akhter & Asenso-Okyere, Kwadwo & Fan, Shenggen & Gulati, Ashok & Hoddinott, John & Pandya-Lorch, Rajul & Rosegrant, Mark W. & Ruel, Marie & Torero, Maximo & van Rheenen, Te, 2008. "High food prices: The what, who, and how of proposed policy actions," Policy briefs 1A, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).
- Sarantis Kalyvitis & Irene Vlachaki, 2010. "Democratic Aid And The Democratization Of Recipients," Contemporary Economic Policy, Western Economic Association International, vol. 28(2), pages 188-218, 04.
- Edward Miguel & Shanker Satyanath & Ernest Sergenti, 2004. "Economic Shocks and Civil Conflict: An Instrumental Variables Approach," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 112(4), pages 725-753, August.
- Blattman, Christopher & Miguel, Edward, 2009.
Center for International and Development Economics Research, Working Paper Series
qt90n356hs, Center for International and Development Economics Research, Institute for Business and Economic Research, UC Berkeley.
- World Bank, 2009. "Global Economic Prospects 2009 : Commodities at the Crossroads," World Bank Publications, The World Bank, number 2581.
- Pinstrup-Andersen, Per & Shimokawa, Satoru, 2008. "Do poverty and poor health and nutrition increase the risk of armed conflict onset?," Food Policy, Elsevier, vol. 33(6), pages 513-520, December.
- Gallup, J.L. & Sachs, J.D. & Mullinger, A., 1999. "Geography and Economic Development," Papers 1, Chicago - Graduate School of Business.
- Headey, Derek & Fan, Shenggen, 2010. "Reflections on the global food crisis: How did it happen? How has it hurt? And how can we prevent the next one?," Research reports 165, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).
- Goodhand, Jonathan, 2003. "Enduring Disorder and Persistent Poverty: A Review of the Linkages Between War and Chronic Poverty," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 31(3), pages 629-646, March.
When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:eee:jfpoli:v:39:y:2013:i:c:p:28-39. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Shamier, Wendy)
If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.
If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.
If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.
Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.