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Rising food prices, food price volatility, and political unrest

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  • Bellemare, Marc F.

Abstract

Do food prices cause political unrest? Throughout history, riots appear to have frequently broken out as a consequence of high food prices. This paper studies the impact of food prices on political unrest using monthly data on food prices at the international level. Because food prices and political unrest are jointly determined, the incidence of natural disasters in a given month is used in an attempt to identify the causal relationship between food prices and political unrest. Empirical results indicate that between January 1990 and January 2011, food price increases have led to increased political unrest, whereas food price volatility has been associated with decreases in political unrest. These findings are consistent with those of the applied microeconomics literature on the welfare impacts of food prices.

Suggested Citation

  • Bellemare, Marc F., 2011. "Rising food prices, food price volatility, and political unrest," MPRA Paper 31888, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  • Handle: RePEc:pra:mprapa:31888
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    File URL: https://mpra.ub.uni-muenchen.de/31888/1/MPRA_paper_31888.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Blog mentions

    As found by EconAcademics.org, the blog aggregator for Economics research:
    1. Identifying Causal Relationships vs. Ruling Out All Other Possible Causes
      by Marc F. Bellemare in Marc F. Bellemare on 2012-04-24 14:00:21

    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Pio Baake & Steffen Huck, 2013. "Crop Failures and Export Tariffs," Discussion Papers of DIW Berlin 1342, DIW Berlin, German Institute for Economic Research.
    2. Nicole M. Aulerich & Scott H. Irwin & Philip Garcia, 2014. "Bubbles, Food Prices, and Speculation: Evidence from the CFTC's Daily Large Trader Data Files," NBER Chapters,in: The Economics of Food Price Volatility, pages 211-253 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    3. repec:bla:jageco:v:68:y:2017:i:1:p:164-181 is not listed on IDEAS
    4. Jesse Tack & David Ubilava, 2013. "The effect of El Niño Southern Oscillation on U.S. corn production and downside risk," Climatic Change, Springer, vol. 121(4), pages 689-700, December.
    5. Bellemare, Marc F. & Carnes, Nicholas, 2015. "Why do members of congress support agricultural protection?," Food Policy, Elsevier, vol. 50(C), pages 20-34.
    6. Matthias Kalkuhl & Lukas Kornher & Marta Kozicka & Pierre Boulanger & Maximo Torero, 2013. "Conceptual framework on price volatility and its impact on food and nutrition security in the short term," FOODSECURE Working papers 15, LEI Wageningen UR.
    7. Marc F. Bellemare, 2014. "Comment on "Food Price Spikes, Price Insulation, and Poverty"," NBER Chapters,in: The Economics of Food Price Volatility, pages 339-344 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    8. 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.
    9. Chen, Junyi & Kibriya, Shahriar & Bessler, David A. & Price, Edwin C., 2015. "A Causal Exploration of Food Price Shocks and Conflict in Sudan," 2015 AAEA & WAEA Joint Annual Meeting, July 26-28, San Francisco, California 202612, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association;Western Agricultural Economics Association.
    10. Abidoye,Babatunde Oluwakayode & Cali,Massimiliano, 2015. "Income shocks and conflict : evidence from Nigeria," Policy Research Working Paper Series 7213, The World Bank.
    11. Dick Durevall & Roy Weide, 2017. "Importing High Food Prices by Exporting: Rice Prices in Lao PDR," Journal of Agricultural Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 68(1), pages 164-181, February.
    12. Chen, Junyi & Kibriya, Shahriar & Bessler, David & Price, Edwin, 2015. "A Causal Exploration of Conflict Events and Commodity Prices of Sudan," MPRA Paper 62461, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    13. Etienne, Xiaoli L. & Irwin, Scott H. & Garcia, Philip, 2013. "Dissecting Corn Price Movements with Directed Acyclic Graphs," 2013 Annual Meeting, August 4-6, 2013, Washington, D.C. 151279, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Food Prices; Price Volatility; Political Unrest; Food Riots;

    JEL classification:

    • O11 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Macroeconomic Analyses of Economic Development
    • Q11 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Agriculture - - - Aggregate Supply and Demand Analysis; Prices
    • D74 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making - - - Conflict; Conflict Resolution; Alliances; Revolutions
    • Q34 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Nonrenewable Resources and Conservation - - - Natural Resources and Domestic and International Conflicts
    • O13 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Agriculture; Natural Resources; Environment; Other Primary Products

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