Book
Food Price Policy in an Era of Market Instability

A Political Economy Analysis

This book is Open Access and available here.

Food price volatility is one of the major challenges facing current and future global food systems. Since 2006, global food prices have fluctuated greatly around an increasing trend and price spikes were observed for key food commodities such as rice, wheat, and maize.

The full or partial transmission of these global food price changes to individual developing countries, together with domestic food price changes, caused by domestic factors such as extreme weather events and market disruptions, caused governments to respond in a variety of ways. While there is ample description of the nature, content, and causes of food price fluctuations during the last 5 to 7 years, very little is known about the processes that led to policy responses or the relative power and behaviour of the participating stakeholder groups.

Understanding how and why governments responded as they did is important to enhance the existing knowledge of the political economy of food price policy and to assist governments in their policy-making as they confront future food price fluctuations. This book presents results from political economy studies of food price policy in 14 developing countries as well as the United States and the European Union.

Table of contents
  1. Part I: An Overview
    1. The Political Economy of Food Price Policy: An Overview
    Per Pinstrup-Andersen
  2. Part II: Syntheses of Findings from Country Studies
    2. International to Domestic Price Transmission in Fourteen Developing Countries During the 2007-08 Food Crisis
    Kenneth Baltzer
    More Working Paper | International to Domestic Price Transmission in Fourteen Developing Countries During the 2007-08 Food Crisis
  3. Part II: Syntheses of Findings from Country Studies
    3. A Cacophony of Policy Responses: Evidence from Fourteen Countries During the 2007/08 Food Price Crisis
    Shane Bryan
    More Working Paper | A Cacophony of Policy Responses
  4. Part II: Syntheses of Findings from Country Studies
    4. Policy Processes and Food Price Crises: A Framework for Analysis and Lessons from Country Studies
    Suresh Chandra Babu
    More Working Paper | Policy Process and Food Price Crisis
  5. Part II: Syntheses of Findings from Country Studies
    5. A Political Economy Synthesis of Food Price Policy in 14 Countries
    Derrill D. Watson
    More Working Paper | Political Economy Synthesis
  6. Part III: The Political Economy of Food Price Policy in Low-Income Landlocked Countries
    6. The Political Economy of Food Price Policy in Ethiopia
    Assefa Admassie
    More Working Paper | The Political Economy of Food Price
  7. Part III: The Political Economy of Food Price Policy in Low-Income Landlocked Countries
    7. The Political Economy of Food Price Policy in Malawi
    Ephraim W. Chirwa and Blessings Chinsinga
    More Working Paper | Dealing with the 2007/08 Global Food Price Crisis
  8. Part III: The Political Economy of Food Price Policy in Low-Income Landlocked Countries
    8. The Political Economy of Food Price Policy in Zambia
    Antony Chapoto
    More Working Paper | The Political Economy of Food Price Policy
  9. Part IV: The Political Economy of Food Price Policy in Low-Income Countries with Limited Dependence on Food Imports
    9. The Political Economy of Food Price Policy in Kenya
    Jonathan Makau Nzuma
    More Working Paper | The Political Economy of Food Price Policy
  10. Part IV: The Political Economy of Food Price Policy in Low-Income Countries with Limited Dependence on Food Imports
    10. The Political Economy of Food Price Policy in Mozambique
    Virgulino Nhate, Cláudio Massingarela and Vincenzo Salvucci
    More Working Paper | The Political Economy of Food Price Policy
  11. Part V: The Political Economy of Food Price Policy in Low and Middle-Income Countries Heavily Dependent on Food Import
    11. The Political Economy of Food Price Policy in Bangladesh
    Selim Raihan
    More Working Paper | The Political Economy of Food Price Policy
    More Research Brief | Food security in Bangladesh
  12. Part V: The Political Economy of Food Price Policy in Low and Middle-Income Countries Heavily Dependent on Food Import
    12. The Political Economy of Food Price Policy in Egypt
    Ahmed Farouk Ghoneim
    More Working Paper | The Political Economy of Food Price Policy in Egypt
    More Research Brief | The political economy of food price policy in Egypt
  13. Part V: The Political Economy of Food Price Policy in Low and Middle-Income Countries Heavily Dependent on Food Import
    13. The Political Economy of Food Price Policy in Nigeria
    Aderibigbe S. Olomola
    More Working Paper | The Political Economy of Food Price Policy in Nigeria
  14. Part V: The Political Economy of Food Price Policy in Low and Middle-Income Countries Heavily Dependent on Food Import
    14. The Political Economy of Food Price Policy in Senegal
    Danielle Resnick
    More Working Paper | Personalistic Policy-Making in a Vibrant Democracy
  15. Part VI: The Political Economy of Food Price Policy in Large Exporters
    15. The Political Economy of Food Price Policy in Vietnam
    Manh Hai Nguyen and Theodore Talbot
    More Working Paper | The Political Economy of Food Price Policy
  16. Part VI: The Political Economy of Food Price Policy in Large Exporters
    16. The Political Economy of Food Price Policy in India
    Kavery Ganguly and Ashok Gulati
    More Working Paper | The Political Economy of Food Price Policy
  17. Part VI: The Political Economy of Food Price Policy in Large Exporters
    17. The Political Economy of Food Price Policy in China
    Jikun Huang, Jun Yang and Scott Rozelle
    More Working Paper | The Political Economy of Food Pricing Policy in China
    More Research Brief | The political economy of food price policy in China
  18. Part VI: The Political Economy of Food Price Policy in Large Exporters
    18. The Political Economy of Food Price Policy in Brazil
    Bernardo Mueller and Charles C. Mueller
    More Working Paper | The Impact Of The 2007–08 Food Price Crisis In A Major Commodity Exporter
    More Research Brief | The impact of the 2007-08 food price crisis in Brazil
  19. Part VI: The Political Economy of Food Price Policy in Large Exporters
    19. The Political Economy of Food Price Policy in South Africa
    Johann F. Kirsten
    More Working Paper | The Political Economy of Food Price Policy in South Africa
  20. Part VII: The Political Economy of Food Price Policy in High-Income Countries
    20. US Policy Contributions to Agricultural Commodity Price Fluctuations 2006-12
    Gordon C. Rausser and Harry de Gorter
    More Working Paper | US Policy Contributions to Agricultural Commodity Price Fluctuations, 2006–12
  21. Part VII: The Political Economy of Food Price Policy in High-Income Countries
    21. Food Price Volatility and EU Policies
    Johan F. M. Swinnen, Louise Knops and Kristine van Herck
    More Working Paper | Food Price Volatility and EU Policies
  22. Part VIII: Conclusions and Recommendations
    22. The Political Economy of Food Price Policy: Key Policy-Related Lessons
    Per Pinstrup-Andersen
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Endorsements

'The world food crisis of 2007-08 brought extraordinary increases in international agricultural commodity prices, triggering varying responses by national governments to cope. This important book documents key case study countries political motivations, policy responses, and consequences following that crisis. Synthesis chapters explore in a comparative manner the politics and economics of country responses. An important finding is the extent of differences in policy implementation success, given similar food security objectives. This book is an invaluable resource for those seeking to understand consequences for food security during crises, and why they can differ across countries.' - Philip Abbott, Professor, Department of Agricultural Economics, Purdue University

'Governments of many developing countries are vulnerable when food prices spike, yet very few have appropriate policies and strategies in place to deal with such shocks. Most respond in knee-jerk fashion with expensive or even counter-productive measures. By drawing on 14 country case studies, this book is able to expose not just how but also why responses to the 2007-08 were so varied. It provides invaluable lessons and policy implications for governments seeking to prepare themselves for subsequent price shocks.' - Kym Anderson, George Gollin Professor of Economics, School of Economics, University of Adelaide, CEPR Fellow; and Professor of Economics, Arndt-Corden Dept of Economics, Australian National University

'This comprehensive study sheds new light on the great diversity of national capabilities and political economy forces which shaped the response to food price volatility. It shows in detail that national objectives of food policy dominate when food prices become more volatile, and collective action failure is a consequence. Policy makers and researchers should note the important implication of the books findings the world is not well prepared to deal effectively with food price volatility, should that increase further, say in the context of climate change.' - Joachim von Braun, Director, Center for Development Research (ZEF) and Professor for Economic and Technological Change, University of Bonn

"This is a very timely and insightful book that provides the collective thinking of a generation of eminent scholars. The book opens up the black box of the political economy process, and shows us how price policy is actually formulated." - Prabhu L. Pingali, Professor and Director, Tata-Cornell Agriculture and Nutrition Initiative, Cornell University