Food Price Shocks and Household Food Security Status

An abundance of studies in development explore the association between food price volatility and household food security (dating back, for example, to Barrett & Dorosh (1996)). This issue continues to be pertinent: to date, households in sub-Saharan Africa experience variations in prices and food security due to market failures, climate change, political instability, and the presence of weak institutions. Policy aimed at curbing the effects of seasonality have often focused on the predictable price changes across the year, and on providing households with safety nets designed accordingly, in order to smooth consumption. Seasonality is just one dimension of price volatility, however. Little work has been done to understand the effects of unexpected price volatility on food insecurity.

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