Food Aid and Political Unrest
In light of reports of protests and riots in response to rising food prices and food insecurity, this study asks whether the provision of food aid has an effect on the incidence of political unrest in recipient countries. It uses annual data on the quantities of American wheat aid delivered to 143 countries between 1972 and 2006. To overcome the potential for bias due to endogeneity, variations in U.S. agricultural production and recipient countries’ probability of receiving aid are used to predict the annual quantity of food aid provided to each country. Results from the instrumented regressions suggest that the provision of food aid does not have any impact on the incidence of political unrest.