Food prices and political instability

This paper 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. The 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.

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