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Food prices and political instability

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  • Rabah Arezki
  • Markus Brückner

Abstract

We examine the effects that variations in the international food process 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 he 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 the international food prices on Low Income Countries social and political stability.

Suggested Citation

  • Rabah Arezki & Markus Brückner, 2011. "Food prices and political instability," NCID Working Papers 01/2011, Navarra Center for International Development, University of Navarra.
  • Handle: RePEc:nva:unnvaa:wp01-2011
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. 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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    4. Daron Acemoglu & James A. Robinson, 2001. "A Theory of Political Transitions," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 91(4), pages 938-963, September.
    5. Paul J. Burke & Andrew Leigh, 2010. "Do Output Contractions Trigger Democratic Change?," American Economic Journal: Macroeconomics, American Economic Association, vol. 2(4), pages 124-157, October.
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    7. 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.
    8. Antonio Ciccone, 2013. "Estimating the Effect of Transitory Economic Shocks on Civil Conflict," Review of Economics and Institutions, Università di Perugia, vol. 4(2).
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Conflict; Political institutions;

    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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