Basic Descriptives of Food Supply


Caloric Supply

Data for food supply is drawn from the FAO food balance sheets. This information is based on a calculations of all uses of food such as imports, exports, feed for animals and then finding the remaining leftover. This value is calculated in kilocalories, per person, per day. While this value does represent a measure of food supply, it does not account for any wasted food. This data spans the years 1961 to 2013.

Per Capita Caloric Supply Descriptives  
Count 7598.000000
Mean 2590.619374
Standard Deviation 516.309917
Minimum 1308.000000
25% 2177.000000
50% 2527.000000
75% 3010.000000
Max 3828.000000

With an average value of nearly 2600 calories over the entire data, this is just around what is recommended for the average male. This however does not take into account the activity level of the individual or other health features. While the supply of food can, and does, reach critically low levels during periods such as famines, upper bounds are constrained. As wealth increases in a society, the amount of calories individuals intake do not increase in a linear fashion but can begin to plateau or even recede.

Wealthy cal decrease

Food supply is an acute measure of social welfare and food security. Increases in daily caloric supply can be attributed to food access for the relatively insecure, rather than an increased share by the wealthy. This feature makes per capita food supply a good proxy for public wellbeing and as a result, satisfaction. Public disposition towards the regime can lead to unrest in the form of riots and protests. Food riots have taken place across numerous countries and time periods. Public unrest is not always determined by food insecurity however, as some regimes are more or less open to forms of discontent. In open political systems we expect food insecurity to have a more likely influence on social unrest.1 Regimes also provide a varying degree of assistance to agriculture through subsidies and assistance.

Regimes

  Count Mean Std Dev Min 25% 50% 75% Max  
Regime Type                  
Dominant Party 1282 2430.861154 525.665949 1439 2036.25 2281.5 2763.75 3706  
Foreign/Occupied 122 2722.368852 385.942299 1737 2485.5 2725.5 3021.25 3382  
Indirect Military 31 2441.935484 367.634777 1966 2227.5 2333 2573.5 3183  
Military 232 2373.892241 499.424527 1471 2008 2282 2817.75 3420  
Military-Personal 189 2153.820106 339.659434 1439 1965 2173 2349 2948  
Monarchy 447 2626.331096 489.081845 1678 2270 2637 3012.5 3651  
Oligarchy 47 2655.234043 262.983155 2146 2317.5 2796 2846.5 2926  
Parliamentary Democracy 2309 2908.184929 429.326792 1449 2568 2957 3228 3768  
Party-Military 100 2049.81 318.941991 1528 1809.25 2022 2168.25 2865  
Party-Personal 329 2446.848024 384.653195 1722 2127 2373 2716 3448  
Party-Personal-Military Hybrid 115 2599.2 453.045391 1840 2294.5 2458 3054.5 3549  
Personal Dictatorship 1000 2239.689 373.040928 1308 2014.75 2185 2435.25 3451  
Presidential Democracy 1305 2638.337165 484.743288 1582 2251 2567 2989 3828  
Provisional - Civilian 46 2279.282609 456.691175 1713 1989.75 2146 2335.75 3390  
Provisional - Military 15 2161.266667 343.901246 1669 1791.5 2257 2419 2631  
Warlordism 29 2029.862069 227.171069 1615 1946 2004 2068 2644 2

Military regimes, and their hybridizations, are often cited as being more vulnerable to coups.3 These regime types have in general lower average food supply than both their autocratic counterparts and democracies.

  1. Hendrix, C. S., & Haggard, S. (2015). Global food prices, regime type, and urban unrest in the developing world. Journal of Peace Research, 52(2), 143-157. 

  2. Regime type is taken from REIGN

  3. Thyne, C. L. (2010). Supporter of stability or agent of agitation? The effect of US foreign policy on coups in Latin America, 1960—99. Journal of Peace Research, 47(4), 449-461.