Effects of violent political conflict on the supply, demand and fragmentation of fresh food markets

Ziv Bar-Nahum, Israel Finkelshtain, Rico Ihle*, Ofir D. Rubin

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Scopus citations


Violent political conflict has been documented to have comprehensive adverse effects on economic activity and, thus, substantially harm social welfare. As conflict escalations are often reported to fragment economic space, we suggest an empirical framework which allows for estimating changes in the size of markets often split by frontlines. This approach uses a differentiated goods oligopoly model to separate effects of conflict intensity on consumer demand, costs of trade, market size, and market structure. We combine daily sales of apples in Hebron - one of the focal points of the Israeli–Palestinian conflict - and variables quantifying complementary aspects of conflict intensity. Conflict is found to suppress demand and affect competition more significantly than it increases costs of trading. Simulations indicate a 15% reduction in total daily consumption during conflict of high intensity while a pacification would yield a 20% welfare gain. This empirical framework allows disentangling the effects of conflict on food markets. The results suggest that relief policies should consider alleviating effects of fragmentation of economic space, e.g., by ensuring humanitarian corridors.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)503-515
Number of pages13
JournalFood Security
Issue number3
StatePublished - 1 Jun 2020

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2020, The Author(s).


  • Changes in market size
  • Conflict
  • D74
  • Differentiated goods
  • Economic space
  • Food demand
  • Fresh food marketing
  • Israeli-Palestinian conflict
  • L11
  • L13
  • L66
  • MENA
  • Palestine
  • Q11


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