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Food Prices and Political Instability

Author/Editor: Rabah Arezki | Markus Bruckner
Authorized for Distribution: March 1, 2011
Electronic Access: Free Full Text (PDF file size is 843KB)
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Disclaimer: This Working Paper should not be reported as representing the views of the IMF. The views expressed in this Working Paper are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily represent those of the IMF or IMF policy. Working Papers describe research in progress by the author(s) and are published to elicit comments and to further debate.

Summary: 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.
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Series: Working Paper No. 11/62
Subject(s): Agricultural prices | Economic models | Food production | Low-income developing countries
Author's keyword(s): Food Prices | Conflict | Political Institutions
    Published:   March 1, 2011        
    ISBN/ISSN:   9781455221066/1018-5941   Format:   Paper
    Stock No:   WPIEA2011062   Pages:   22
    Price:   US$18.00
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