Food price policy in an era of market instability: A political economy analysis
This book published by Oxford Scholarship Online tries to enhance knowledge on responses to price volatility of governments and on the political economy of agricultural policy-making in general. The analysis starts from the global food crises of 2007-9 when prices surged for key staple food commodities and uses the variety of reactions from governments of different countries to generate knowledge on responses to price volatility. Since governments experienced similar food price shocks, the author argues that this case offers an excellent natural experiment for generating this knowledge. The central aim of the study is to uncover which political economy factors—ranging from the constellation of different interest groups to the nature of political institutions—explain variations in policy responses across countries. The research output proves valuable for at least three target audiences. First, it can inform international organizations and donors about which types of policy interventions can mitigate price volatility and whether they are feasible given a country’s political economy context. Second, it can help national policy makers better understand the trade-offs of certain policy interventions. Third, it generates much-needed further knowledge about the agricultural policy-making process in developing countries, which remains incredibly scarce despite the importance of agriculture to these countries’ economies.