Food prices have undergone large swings in recent years. Farmers, consumers, and producers are each affected by price volatility in different ways. Those concerned with the deleterious effects of food price volatility cannot begin to think of devising solutions to ameliorate its effects until they have a clear grasp of the complex causes of price instability. What brings about food price instability? Can the changes be attributed to weather-related supply shocks, to technological changes, or to changes in demand? What is the effect of financial speculation on food prices?
, the Anderson-Bascom Professor of Agricultural and Applied Economics at UW-Madison and his colleagues David Hummels at Purdue University and Brian D. Wright at the University of California, Berkeley have co-edited a volume of essays which brings together the work of many of the world's experts on food prices. The wide range of essays in The Economics of Food Price Volatility
engage these and other questions.
The distinguished researchers in this volume address a range of factors which have caused food price spikes both recently and historically. The chapters also examine public policies which have affected food price volatility. The chapters in The Economics of Food Price Volatility examine the relationship between food and energy markets, the effects of biofuel policies on agricultural commodity price volatility, and what effects weather can have on supply. The scholars' inquiries elucidate the effects that price volatility has on consumers, farmers, and traders. The book intends to assist private and public decision makers to develop policies and strategies that can stabilize current and future food prices.