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How Much Did Speculation Contribute to Recent Food Price Inflation?

  • Amanor-Boadu, Vincent
  • Zereyesus, Yacob Abrehe

Recent increases in commodity prices have led to calls for the regulation of speculators. These calls have come from many reputable quarters including leading agricultural and food policy institutions such as International Food Policy Research Institute as well as different members of the U.S. Congress. They are based on an assumption that speculative activities are a primary or major source of the volatility in the markets and that controlling these activities through regulations would bring more stability to the market. The paper tests this hypothesis and assesses the contribution of speculative activities in the commodity markets over the past decade to price inflation. The paper argues that government regulatory policies to control speculation in commodity markets is a second best solution that would probably yield neutral or negative benefits to the very people the policy aims to protect.

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Paper provided by Southern Agricultural Economics Association in its series 2009 Annual Meeting, January 31-February 3, 2009, Atlanta, Georgia with number 46841.

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Date of creation: 2009
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Handle: RePEc:ags:saeana:46841
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