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Food Prices and Political Instability

Rabah Arezki () and Markus Brückner ()

No 594, Working Papers from Economic Research Forum

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 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.

Date: 2011-01-07, Revised 2011-01-07
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Published by The Economic Research Forum (ERF)

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Working Paper: Food Prices and Political Instability (2011) Downloads
Working Paper: Food Prices and Political Instability (2011) Downloads
Working Paper: Food prices and political instability (2011) Downloads
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