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New evidence on the fluctuations in ocean freight rates in the 1850s

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  • Klovland, Jan Tore
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    Abstract

    Newly constructed global indices of ocean freight rates in the 1850s show large cyclical fluctuations in these years. A new type of freight rate index, referred to as a repeat sailings index, is presented, which is similar to a type of index frequently applied to house prices. An econometric model of the freight rate market is estimated on monthly data from the 1850s. It is found that harvest failures, business cycles, the supply of tonnage and the Crimean War all significantly affected freight rates in this period. The Crimean War may have accounted for about a quarter of the surge in freight rates in the years prior to the outbreak of the War; once the War broke out in March 1854, however, it was of less importance.

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    Bibliographic Info

    Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Explorations in Economic History.

    Volume (Year): 46 (2009)
    Issue (Month): 2 (April)
    Pages: 266-284

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    Handle: RePEc:eee:exehis:v:46:y:2009:i:2:p:266-284

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    Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/inca/622830

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    Keywords: Ocean freight rate index The Crimean War Freight market model;

    References

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    1. David S. Jacks & Krishna Pendakur, 2008. "Global Trade and the Maritime Transport Revolution," NBER Working Papers 14139, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    2. Mohammed, Saif I. Shah & Williamson, Jeffrey G., 2004. "Freight rates and productivity gains in British tramp shipping 1869-1950," Explorations in Economic History, Elsevier, vol. 41(2), pages 172-203, April.
    3. S. Fairlie, 1965. "The Nineteenth-Century Corn Law Reconsidered," Economic History Review, Economic History Society, vol. 18(3), pages 562-575, December.
    4. Horace Davis, 1894. "California Breadstuffs," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 2, pages 517.
    5. Gatzlaff, Dean H & Haurin, Donald R, 1997. "Sample Selection Bias and Repeat-Sales Index Estimates," The Journal of Real Estate Finance and Economics, Springer, vol. 14(1-2), pages 33-50, Jan.-Marc.
    6. Arthur F. Burns & Wesley C. Mitchell, 1946. "Measuring Business Cycles," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number burn46-1.
    7. Harley, C. Knick, 1988. "Ocean Freight Rates and Productivity, 1740–1913: The Primacy of Mechanical Invention Reaffirmed," The Journal of Economic History, Cambridge University Press, vol. 48(04), pages 851-876, December.
    8. Karl E. Case & Robert J. Shiller, 1988. "The Efficiency of the Market for Single-Family Homes," NBER Working Papers 2506, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    9. Persson, Karl Gunnar, 2004. "Mind the gap! Transport costs and price convergence in the nineteenth century Atlantic economy," European Review of Economic History, Cambridge University Press, vol. 8(02), pages 125-147, August.
    10. Klovland Jan Tore, 1993. "Zooming in on Sauerbeck: Monthly Wholesale Prices in Britain 1845-1890," Explorations in Economic History, Elsevier, vol. 30(2), pages 195-228, April.
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    Cited by:
    1. Devaney, Steven, 2010. "Trends in office rents in the City of London: 1867-1959," Explorations in Economic History, Elsevier, vol. 47(2), pages 198-212, April.

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