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News Tip: Rising Food Prices Could Contribute to Social Unrest Abroad
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Durham, NC - Due to record-high temperatures and drought this year in the U.S., the price of food is expected to rise 3 to 4 percent. Professor Marc Bellemare says the increased prices will likely contribute to social instability in developing countries.
Assistant professor of public policy and economics at Duke's Sanford School of Public Policy
(919) 613-9382 (o); (919) 593-8751 (c)
Bellemare is an agricultural economist whose research focuses on international development policy.
"In my own research, I find statistical evidence that, at the global level, rising food prices cause social unrest.
"More specifically, I find that increases in the overall price of food, in the price of cereals and in the price of specific commodities (i.e., maize, rice, soybeans and wheat) cause increases in the number of stories about social unrest in the media.
"I would not be surprised to witness an uptick in the number of food riots throughout the world later this summer."
(A graph by Bellemare comparing corn prices and media reports of social unrest is available here: http://marcfbellemare.com/wordpress/wp-content/uploads/2012/07/FoodRiots.jpg.)
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