On February 27 – 28, 2014, the Center for Technology and Economic Development at New York University, jointly with the OCP Policy Center and the Research Department of the International Monetary Fund, will sponsor an international conference on Food Price Volatility: Causes and Challenges,” which will take place in Rabat, Morocco. The program, to be organized by Yaw Nyarko (NYU), Rabah Arezki (IMF), Karim El Aynaoui (OCP Policy Center), and Prakash Loungani (IMF), will consist of about twelve papers with formal discussants for each paper.

Papers from the conference will be considered for a special issue of the Oxford Economic Papers, subject to the Journal’s normal refereeing process.

The evolution of food prices is driven by multiple factors including the rise of China and India, weather related disruptions induced by climate change, and the changing nature of food markets. Food price volatility raises numerous challenges. At the domestic level, sharp price increases in staple food have, over the last few years, affected a large proportion of households, throwing millions into poverty. Food price volatility also raises a number of challenges at the international level. The Group of 20 leading economies has designated understanding food price volatility as a policy priority, and emphasized the need for both domestic policies and international coordination to address the challenges posed by volatility. The purpose of this conference is to discuss new research on the origins of food price volatility and its associated domestic and international challenges.

We welcome submissions of empirically oriented or applied theoretical research. Topics might involve: the consequences of fluctuations in demand from China and India on food prices, the role of climate change, the financialization of food markets, food security and the role of inputs markets (e.g. land reforms, fertilizers, water, energy, …), distributional effects of food prices, the development of commodity exchanges, and international trade in food products and cross-border land acquisitions. Another area is the policy response to food price fluctuations such as macroeconomic policies including monetary policy, trade policies and international coordination and debt policy and international financial assistance.

The organizers invite detailed proposals and preferably draft research papers. Proposals should be submitted electronically to Mr. Hites Ahir no later than November 18, 2013. The organizers will make the final selection of papers to be included in the Conference. Authors will be notified by December 6, 2013 if their paper has been selected. Please note that the organizers will contact authors only if their paper is accepted. The papers should represent original research not presented or published elsewhere. Authors will receive an honorarium of $2,000 and be expected to present their paper at the conference. For selected papers a contribution towards travel and accommodation costs will be made available.

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