- Public Policy, Price Shocks, and Civil War in Developing Countries
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- by Carter, Brett; Bates, Robert H.
- Those who study the role of agriculture in the political economy of development
focus on government policy choices on the one hand and the impact of price shocks
on the other. We argue that the two should be studied together. We nd that civil
unrest (Granger) causes government policies, pushing governments in poor and medium
income countries to shift relative prices in favor of urban consumers. We also nd that
while civil wars are related to food price shocks, when government policy choices are
taken into account, the relationship disappears. We thus learn two things: Policies
that placate urban consumers may in
ict economic costs on governments, but they
confer political benets. And when estimating the relationship between price shocks
and political stability, equations that omit the policy response of governments are
- Publication Type: WCFIA Working Paper
- Published Date: January 2012
- Field of Interest: Comparative Politics
- Carter, Brett L. and Robert Bates. “Public Policy, Price Shocks, and Civil War in
Developing Countries.” Working Paper 2012-0001, Weatherhead Center for International Affairs, Harvard University, January 2012.
- Co-author Brett L. Carter is a PhD candidate in the Department of Government at Harvard University.