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Food Price Spikes and Strategic Interactions between the Public and Private Sectors: Market Failures or Governance Failures


  • Jayne, Thomas S.
  • Tschirley, David L.


When food prices shoot over import parity, this often leads to social and political unrest and even the toppling of governments. If markets behaved efficiently and in the absence of trade barriers, food prices should not exceed the price in world markets plus the cost of importing it to domestic markets (i.e., import parity). However, food prices routinely soar above import parity in several countries of East and Southern Africa, causing widespread hunger and asset depletion among the poor.

Suggested Citation

  • Jayne, Thomas S. & Tschirley, David L., 2009. "Food Price Spikes and Strategic Interactions between the Public and Private Sectors: Market Failures or Governance Failures," Food Security Collaborative Working Papers 97142, Michigan State University, Department of Agricultural, Food, and Resource Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:ags:midcwp:97142
    DOI: 10.22004/ag.econ.97142

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    Cited by:

    1. Maitre d'Hotel, Elodie & le Cotty, Tristan & Jayne, Thomas S., 2012. "Is A Public Regulation Of Food Price Volatility Feasible In Africa? An Arch Approach In Kenya," 123rd Seminar, February 23-24, 2012, Dublin, Ireland 122551, European Association of Agricultural Economists.
    2. Mirzabaev, Alisher & Tsegai, Daniel W., 2012. "Effects of weather shocks on agricultural commodity prices in Central Asia," Discussion Papers 140769, University of Bonn, Center for Development Research (ZEF).
    3. Bryan, Shane, 2013. "A Cacophony of Policy Responses: Evidence from Fourteen Countries During the 2007/08 Food Price Crisis," WIDER Working Paper Series 029, World Institute for Development Economic Research (UNU-WIDER).
    4. Jean-Christophe Bureau & Sébastien Jean, 2013. "International Agricultural Trade and Negotiations : Coping with a New Landscape," FOODSECURE Working papers 8, LEI Wageningen UR.
    5. Sassi, M., 2013. "Child Nutritional Status in the Malawian District of Salima: A Capability Approach," 2013 Second Congress, June 6-7, 2013, Parma, Italy 149892, Italian Association of Agricultural and Applied Economics (AIEAA).
    6. Mirzabaev, Alisher & Tsegai, Daniel, 2015. "Effects of weather shocks on wheat prices in Central Asia," 2015 Conference, August 9-14, 2015, Milan, Italy 212466, International Association of Agricultural Economists.
    7. Ellis, Frank & Manda, Elizabeth, 2012. "Seasonal Food Crises and Policy Responses: A Narrative Account of Three Food Security Crises in Malawi," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 40(7), pages 1407-1417.
    8. David, T. & Gitau, R. & Meyer, F.H. & Chisanga, B. & Jayne, T.S., 2016. "Evaluating price volatility and the role of trade in Eastern and Southern African maize markets," 2016 Fifth International Conference, September 23-26, 2016, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia 249291, African Association of Agricultural Economists (AAAE).
    9. Davids, Tracy & Schroeder, Kateryna G. & Meyer, Ferdinand & Chisanga, Brian, 2015. "Regional Price Transmission in Southern African Maize Markets," 2015: Trade and Societal Well-Being, December 13-15, 2015, Clearwater Beach, Florida 229602, International Agricultural Trade Research Consortium.


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