The Economics of Food Price Volatility

Edited by Jean-Paul Chavas, David Hummels, and Brian D. Wright

Edited by Jean-Paul Chavas, David Hummels, and Brian D. Wright

440 pages | 53 line drawings, 55 tables | 6 x 9 | © 2014
Cloth $130.00 ISBN: 9780226128924 Will Publish October 2014
E-book $104.00 ISBN: 9780226129082 Will Publish October 2014
There has been an increase in food price instability in recent years, with varied consequences for farmers, market participants, and consumers. Before policy makers can design schemes to reduce food price uncertainty or ameliorate its effects, they must first understand the factors that have contributed to recent price instability. Does it arise primarily from technological or weather-related supply shocks, or from changes in demand like those induced by the growing use of biofuel? Does financial speculation affect food price volatility?

The researchers who contributed to The Economics of Food Price Volatility address these and other questions. They examine the forces driving both recent and historical patterns in food price volatility, as well as the effects of various public policies in affecting this volatility. The chapters include studies of the links between food and energy markets, the impact of biofuel policy on the level and variability of food prices, and the effects of weather-related disruptions in supply. The findings shed light on the way price volatility affects the welfare of farmers, traders, and consumers.
Contents
Preface
 
Introduction
Jean-Paul Chavas, David Hummels, and Brian D. Wright
 
1.         Influences of Agricultural Technology on the Size and Importance of Food Price Variability
Julian M. Alston, Will Martin, and Philip G. Pardey
Comment: James M. MacDonald
 
2.         Corn Production Shocks in 2012 and Beyond: Implications for Harvest Volatility
Steven T. Berry, Michael J. Roberts, and Wolfram Schlenker
Comment: Derek Headey
 
3.         Biofuels, Binding Constraints, and Agricultural Commodity Price Volatility
Philip Abbott
Comment: Brian D. Wright
 
4.         The Evolving Relationships between Agricultural and Energy Commodity Prices: A Shifting-Mean Vector Autoregressive Analysis
Walter Enders and Matthew T. Holt
Comment: Barry K. Goodwin
 
5.         Bubble Troubles? Rational Storage, Mean Reversion, and Runs in Commodity Prices
Eugenio S. A. Bobenrieth, Juan R. A. Bobenrieth, and Brian D. Wright
Comment: Jock R. Anderson
 
6.         Bubbles, Food Prices, and Speculation: Evidence from the CFTC’s Daily Large Trader Data Files
Nicole M. Aulerich, Scott H. Irwin, and Philip Garcia
Comment: Aaron Smith
 
7.         Food Price Volatility and Domestic Stabilization Policies in Developing Countries
Christophe Gouel
Comment: Shenggen Fan
 
8.         Food Price Spikes, Price Insulation, and Poverty
Kym Anderson, Maros Ivanic, and Will Martin
Comment: Marc F. Bellemare
 
9.         Trade Insulation as Social Protection
Quy-Toan Do, Andrei A. Levchenko, and Martin Ravallion
Comment: Ron Trostle
 
Contributors
Author Index
Subject Index
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