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Food Prices and Political Instability

Author

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  • Rabah Arezki
  • Markus Bruckner

Abstract

We examine the effects that variations in the international food prices have on democracy and intra-state conflict using panel data for over 120 countries during the period 1970-2007. Our main finding is that in Low Income Countries increases in the international food prices lead to a significant deterioration of democratic institutions and a significant increase in the incidence of anti-government demonstrations, riots, and civil conflict. In the High Income Countries variations in the international food prices have no significant effects on democratic institutions and measures of intra-state conflict. Our empirical results point to a significant externality of variations in international food prices on Low Income Countries' social and political stability.

Suggested Citation

  • Rabah Arezki & Markus Bruckner, 2011. "Food Prices and Political Instability," IMF Working Papers 11/62, International Monetary Fund.
  • Handle: RePEc:imf:imfwpa:11/62
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. repec:cup:apsrev:v:97:y:2003:i:01:p:75-90_00 is not listed on IDEAS
    2. Daron Acemoglu & James A. Robinson, 2001. "A Theory of Political Transitions," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 91(4), pages 938-963, September.
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    4. Berger, Helge & Spoerer, Mark, 2001. "Economic Crises And The European Revolutions Of 1848," The Journal of Economic History, Cambridge University Press, vol. 61(02), pages 293-326, June.
    5. Markus Brückner & Antonio Ciccone, 2010. "International Commodity Prices, Growth and the Outbreak of Civil War in Sub-Saharan Africa," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 120(544), pages 519-534, May.
    6. Markus Brückner & Antonio Ciccone, 2011. "Rain and the Democratic Window of Opportunity," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 79(3), pages 923-947, May.
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    9. Berger, Helge & Spoerer, Mark, 2001. "Economic crises and the European revolutions of 1848," Munich Reprints in Economics 15926, University of Munich, Department of Economics.
    10. Nils Petter Gleditsch & Peter Wallensteen & Mikael Eriksson & Margareta Sollenberg & Hã…Vard Strand, 2002. "Armed Conflict 1946-2001: A New Dataset," Journal of Peace Research, Peace Research Institute Oslo, vol. 39(5), pages 615-637, September.
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Rabah Arezki & Daniel Lederman & Hongyan Zhao, 2014. "The Relative Volatility of Commodity Prices: A Reappraisal," American Journal of Agricultural Economics, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 96(3), pages 939-951.
    2. repec:bla:jageco:v:68:y:2017:i:1:p:98-122 is not listed on IDEAS
    3. Wenshou Yan, 2016. "Geographic Politics, Loss Aversion, and Trade Policy: The Case of Cotton and China," School of Economics Working Papers 2016-15, University of Adelaide, School of Economics.
    4. Ali, Hoda Abd El Hamid, 2014. "The Impact of Food Crisis on Government Debt in the Arab Region," MPRA Paper 59923, University Library of Munich, Germany, revised 2014.
    5. Anna Kochanova & Carlos Caceres, 2012. "Country Stress Events; Does Governance Matter?," IMF Working Papers 12/116, International Monetary Fund.
    6. C. Peter Timmer, 2014. "Food Security in Asia and the Pacific: The Rapidly Changing Role of Rice," Asia and the Pacific Policy Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 1(1), pages 73-90, January.
    7. Christophe Gouel, 2014. "Food Price Volatility and Domestic Stabilization Policies in Developing Countries," NBER Chapters,in: The Economics of Food Price Volatility, pages 261-306 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    8. Jean-François Maystadt & Olivier Ecker, 2014. "Extreme Weather and Civil War: Does Drought Fuel Conflict in Somalia through Livestock Price Shocks?," American Journal of Agricultural Economics, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 96(4), pages 1157-1182.
    9. Marta Kozicka & Dr Matthias Kalkuhl & Jan Brockhaus, 2015. "Food Grain Policies in India and Their Implications for Stocks and Fiscal Costs: A Partial Equilibrium Analysis," EcoMod2015 8377, EcoMod.
    10. Pedro Concei ‹o & Sebastian Levine & Zuzana Brixiova, 2011. "The Food Price Spikes of 2008/09 and 2010/11: Impacts and Policies in African Countries," UNDP Africa Policy Notes 2011-003, United Nations Development Programme, Regional Bureau for Africa.
    11. Kleemann, Linda, 2012. "Sustainable agriculture and food security in Africa: An overview," Kiel Working Papers 1812, Kiel Institute for the World Economy (IfW).
    12. Bellemare, Marc F., 2011. "Rising food prices, food price volatility, and political unrest," MPRA Paper 31888, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    13. Arampatzi,Efstratia & Burger,Martijn & Ianchovichina,Elena & Röhricht,Tina & Veenhoven,Ruut & Arampatzi,Efstratia & Burger,Martijn & Ianchovichina,Elena & Röhricht,Tina & Veenhoven,Ruut, 2015. "Unhappy development : dissatisfaction with life on the eve of the Arab spring," Policy Research Working Paper Series 7488, The World Bank.
    14. repec:fpr:ifprib:9780896292710 is not listed on IDEAS

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Food prices; Conflict; Political Institutions; food price; food production; food insecurity; food consumption; Economic Systems: General; General;

    JEL classification:

    • D72 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making - - - Political Processes: Rent-seeking, Lobbying, Elections, Legislatures, and Voting Behavior
    • O55 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economywide Country Studies - - - Africa
    • P16 - Economic Systems - - Capitalist Systems - - - Political Economy of Capitalism

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