Political instabilities and violent political conflict have in recent years risen substantially throughout the world. Especially in the Middle East and North Africa they have grown to decisive factors permanently challenging the livelihoods of millions. We assess whether and to what extent varying intensities of conflict impact economic activity in Palestine which has been subject to substantial violent political conflict for decades. In particular, we analyse the relationship between various intensity levels of political instability measured by conflict-caused fatalities and uncertainty of weekly food prices in the West Bank between 2004 and 2011 using a GARCH model. We consider four food commodities covering vegetables, fruits and animal products. Banana and milk prices are found not to show clustered volatility while onion and pear prices do. The impact of varying conflict intensities on weekly average prices appears to be modest. This might suggest that effects happen on a temporally and geographically more disaggregated scale.
- Food prices
- Middle East