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A THESIS Presented to the Faculty of The Graduate College at the University of Nebraska In Partial Fulfillment of Requirements For the Degree of Master of Arts, Major: Economics, Under the Supervision of Professor Hendrik Van Den Berg. Lincoln, Nebraska: December 2011

Copyright (c) 2011 Christine Costello


The recent decade has experienced two rather substantial food price spikes. This thesis sets out to provide an in-depth look at the recent food price increases by achieving two goals: assessing the forces driving food prices, and determining the magnitude of those forces. These goals are reached by reviewing selected rhetoric on the recent food price increases, analyzing case studies, and lastly determining our modeling capabilities in decomposing food price changes. Additionally, this thesis will serve as a tool for stakeholder's to better address critical policy issues surrounding food, agriculture, and energy policies.

Adviser: Hendrik Van Den Berg