Changes in global food prices have affected EU producers and consumers and have triggered policy reactions through the EU’s political process. In particular, the EU and member states responded by social policies to protect their consumers, attempts to regulate ‘speculation ’ on agricultural commodities, revisions of sustainability requirements for biofuels, international development and food aid, and changes in the EU’s Common Agricultural Policy (CAP). With the exception of biofuel regulations, policy changes have been relatively limited and the effects on global food markets minor. The reasons are that the impact of global price volatility on EU consumers has been limited and the link between the CAP and the world market is much smaller than it was twenty years ago.
countercyclical adjustments of trade policies with food prices are an important contribution to the volatility of food price. We study in a theoretical model the features of an international agreement to discipline their use. Even in cooperation, it is not possible to exclude deviation from free trade as incentive to deviate from cooperation could become too high in free trade in case of large shocks. Given that the distribution of staple food prices is positively skewed, food exporter will occasionally face large incentive to deviate from free trade, thus, disciplining export taxes will be more difficult than tariffs in trade agreements.
Methodology -- Economic environment and vulnerability to food price shocks -- Vulnerability to natural risks, shocks and hazards -- Household food security and vulnerability to shocks -- Simulating the impacts of market and climate shocks on household food consumption -- Conclusions
During food price spikes, food exporting countries frequently use export restrictions to insulate their domestic markets from high prices on the world market. Their use can be so widespread that the high levels reached by international prices could be seen as a consequence of these interventions (Dawe and Slayton, 2011), and the restrictions can be so stringent that they can lead to the near disappearance of the world market as happened to the rice market over nine months in 1973 (Timmer, 2010). Food importing countries also act: they decrease their tariffs to protect their consumers but when world prices are low, the situation is reversed and importers raise their import duties. In summary, in food markets, countries routinely adjust their trade barriers to insulate their domestic markets from international price variability (Anderson and Nelgen, 2012). The lack of commitment to leaving borders open can reduce trust in the world trade system and lead to costly policies. Importing countries that expect food exporters to restrict their exports in times of scarcity will move away from the specialization consistent with their comparative advantages in order to ensure greater self-sufficiency, or will carry expensive public stocks. For example, the current large-scale public interventions in the Asian countries, through which many countries attempt to achieve self-sufficiency in major staples, can be explained largely by their experience in the 1972/73 food crisis (Rashid et al., 2008). ; De nombreux pays ajustent leur politique commerciale de manière contracyclique par rapport aux prix alimentaires, au point que les restrictions aux exportations utilisées par beaucoup de pays exportateurs ont occasionnellement menacé la sécurité alimentaire des pays importateurs. Notre article analyse la coordination des politiques commerciales lorsque celles-ci sont motivées à la fois par la manipulation des termes de l'échange et par le désir de limiter la volatilité des prix alimentaires domestiques. Ce cadre théorique implique que les pays importateurs et exportateurs ont des incitations à dévier de la coopération à des périodes différentes: les exportateurs lorsque les prix sont élevés et les importateurs lorsque les prix sont bas. Dans la mesure où les prix des matières premières alimentaires ont une distribution asymétrique avec une queue de distribution étalée vers les prix élevés, un accord commercial tendrait à générer des résultats asymétriques. En l'absence de coopération, un pays importateur utilise plus fréquemment sa politique commerciale du fait de la concentration des prix mondiaux en dessous de leur moyenne, mais un pays exportateur aura une plus grande incitation à dévier de la coopération car les déviations positives des prix par rapport à leur moyenne sont plus importantes que les déviations négatives. L'asymétrie de la distribution des prix alimentaires pourrait donc rendre difficile tout accord international pour discipliner l'usage des restrictions aux exportations.
Do food prices cause political unrest? Throughout history, riots appear to have frequently broken out as a consequence of high food prices. This paper studies the impact of food prices on food-related political unrest using monthly data at the international level. Because food prices and political unrest are jointly determined, the number of natural disasters in a given month is used in an attempt to identify the causal relationship ‡owing from food prices and political unrest unrest. Empirical results indicate that between January 1990 and January 2011, food price increases appear to have led to increased political unrest, whereas food price volatility has been associated with decreases in political unrest. These …ndings are consistent with those of the applied microeconomics literature on the welfare impacts of food prices.