Working Paper
The Political Economy of Food Price Policy

the Case of Kenya

This paper evaluates Kenya’s food price crisis over 2002–11 using a political economy approach. Kenya’s food prices have been high and volatile relative to world food prices. Moreover, domestic food markets are highly integrated while about 30 per cent of the changes in world market prices are transmitted to domestic markets in Kenya. The study finds a relatively slow speed of adjustment of domestic food prices in Kenya of between three to five months. In response, the government implemented both supply-side and demand-side policies. However, the implementation of these policies has not been fully institutionalized and relies on the most part on the executive. These findings lend credence to calls to institutionalize the policy-making process in Kenya.