Food Price Impact on Food Security

Abrupt food price changes influence food security directly through nutrition-related channels and indirectly through real income fluctuations. The nutrition-related channels can be divided into two types: real income effect and substitution effect. The real income effect usually results in decrease in calorie intake while substitution effect can lead to switching to lower-quality food consumption and as a result lower intake of essential micronutrients like vitamin A, iron, or zinc that are necessary for body growth and body development.

The indirect effect of the real income changes can be due to changes in child care, health expenditures or physical access to health care. Price changes may also affect households’ long-term wealth due to coping strategies like asset liquidation, going into debt, or taking children out of school. The total impact of these different channels on food security depends on cultural factors, diet preferences and socio-economic factors as well as on the changes of other relevant prices, formal or informal insurance mechanisms and government policies and aid programs. Our research aims to evaluate the impact of price changes and price volatility on food security status and to provide timely information on threats for food security.


  • Matz, J. A., Kalkuhl, M., Abegaz, G. A. (2015): The short-term impact of price shocks on food security - Evidence from urban and rural Ethiopia, Food Security [PDF]