Dynamics of Food Price Inflation Across the EU

Authors: Lloyd, T., McCorriston, S. and Morgan, C.W.


Start date: 8 August 2015

Against the backdrop of recent price spikes on world commodity markets, retail food inflation has varied considerably across EU Member States despite the existence of a range of common policies and, for some Member States, a common currency. In this paper, we investigate the extent and potential causes of the differences in the experience of food inflation through the lens of a single well-defined product chain in 11 EU Member States. Using a structural VAR framework, we find that the contribution of world prices to the behaviour of retail bread prices shows significant differences across the EU Member States we cover. Differences in the functioning of the food sector (particularly barriers to competition and vertical control) appear to be correlated with the role played world prices, highlighting the importance of such structural features in commodity price transmission.

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