Conceptual Framework on Price Volatility and the Impact on Food and Nutrition Security

Food and nutrition security (FSN) is a complex issue, encompassing food availability and accessibility, stability of food supplies, utilization of food, and food quality and safety. FNS can be impacted by any number of drivers, including food price volatility and price shocks. However, little research has been done on how price volatility affects nutritional status as indicated by anthropometric measures.

Conceptual Framework on Price Volatility and Its Impact on Food and Nutrition Security in the Short-Term, a working paper authored by Matthia Kalkuhl, Marta Kozicka, and Maximo Torero for the FOODSECURE project, establishes a conceptual framework that links short-term food price changes with food and nutrition security. The authors provide an overview of the causes of commodity price volatility, as well as commonly used approaches to measure volatility and different concepts used to measure food security impacts. In contrast to consumption, utility, or perception-based indicators, anthropometric indicators provide the most direct measure of nutritional impacts. An extensive literature review emphasizes that anthropometric indicators can respond significantly within a few months to shocks like droughts, seasonality, or economic crises. This developed conceptual framework elaborates different channels through which price changes and price risks affect households and food security. The paper concludes with implications for further research to analyze the impact of price volatility on food security empirically.

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