Jan Brockhaus

Research themes
  • Land use and food security
  • Global development and trade
Research countries
  • China
  • India
Research topic
Food price volatility
Research projects

Food price volatility project

Professional experience

Consultant at McKinsey and Company Inc. (2012)


Diplom in Physics, University of Münster (2012)

Funding institutions


Thesis title

Reducing food insecurity by improving transparency, storage, and trade on agricultural markets.

Thesis abstract

Highly volatile food prices are a major concern for governments in developing countries as they have serious impacts on the poor. Many causes for volatile food prices have been identified with production shocks, trade restrictions, demand shocks, missing stocks, speculation, and intransparent data as the most important ones. In my thesis, I evaluate the data quality from different countries and link this to price volatility. The findings include different estimations from different sources comove rather then converge over time. While for some countries like the United States there is little uncertainty about the data, high levels of uncertainty are found for Nigeria, Turkey, and India. Furthermore, a correlation between bad data quality and food price volatility could be found for trade and storage data. Overall, we find that AMIS is right in putting much more emphasis on data collecting capabilities in different countries.


Secondly, the supply response, e.g. how farmer adjust their acreage allocation decisions according to prices and other parameters, has been analyzed for India and China. For wheat, maize, rice, and soy, a three month ahead forecasting model has been developed to estimate the planted area.


Apart from that, a reduced form storage equation is deducted from the competitive storage model in order to provide a simple and treatable model capable to reproduce the empirics. This model is then applied to different countries to investigate the effect of public stocks on private stocks. In India, public stocks are found to have a major influence on private stocks, but they don't fully compensate them so that the overall stock level is raised by holding public stocks. In the future, the results will be used in theoretical simulations about storage cooperation and storage-trade interactions.


Brockhaus J., J. Huang, J. Hu, M. Kalkuhl, J. von Braun, and G. Yang. 2016. When Do Prices Matter Most? Rice, Wheat, and Corn Supply Response in China. In: Torero, M., M. Kalkuhl and J. von Braun (eds.): Food Price Volatility and Ist Implications for Food Security and Policy. Springer. 435-456.

Jan Brockhaus

Senior Researcher