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Some Pitfalls in Testing the Law of One Price in Commodity Markets

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  • Phillips, Llad
  • Pippenger, John
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    Abstract

    Several articles find no support for the law of one price (LOP) in commodity markets. Only a few articles find some support. A rejection of the LOP would strike at the heart of economic theory. A rejection would suggest that firms do not maximize wealth and households do not maximize utility. Our objective here is to show how four common pitfalls can cause tests of the LOP to fail when in fact the LOP holds. All tests of the LOP that fail to support the theory fall in to at least one pitfall and many fall in to three or four. All of these pitfalls are the result of ignoring important practical implications of arbitrage.

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    Bibliographic Info

    Paper provided by Department of Economics, UC Santa Barbara in its series University of California at Santa Barbara, Economics Working Paper Series with number qt92b16177.

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    Date of creation: 02 Aug 2005
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    Handle: RePEc:cdl:ucsbec:qt92b16177

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    Related research

    Keywords: law of one price; commodity markets; Social and Behavioral Sciences;

    References

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    1. Parsley, David C & Wei, Shang-Jin, 1996. "Convergence to the Law of One Price without Trade Barriers or Currency Fluctuations," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 111(4), pages 1211-36, November.
    2. Goodwin, Barry K., 1990. "Empirically testing the law of one price in an international commodity market: A rational expectations application to the natural rubber market," Agricultural Economics, Blackwell, vol. 4(2), pages 165-177, June.
    3. Lo, Ming Chien & Zivot, Eric, 2001. "Threshold Cointegration And Nonlinear Adjustment To The Law Of One Price," Macroeconomic Dynamics, Cambridge University Press, vol. 5(04), pages 533-576, September.
    4. Protopapadakis, Aris & Stoll, Hans R, 1983. " Spot and Futures Prices and the Law of One Price," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 38(5), pages 1431-55, December.
    5. Ceglowski, Janet, 1994. "The Law of One Price Revisited: New Evidence on the Behavior of International Prices," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 32(3), pages 407-18, July.
    6. David C. Parsley & Shang-Jin Wei, 2000. "Explaining the Border Effect: The Role of Exchange Rate Variability, Shipping Costs, and Geography," NBER Working Papers 7836, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    7. Juuso Vataja, 2000. "Should the Law of One Price be Pushed Away? Evidence from International Commodity Markets," Open Economies Review, Springer, vol. 11(4), pages 399-415, October.
    8. Sarno, Lucio & Taylor, Mark P. & Chowdhury, Ibrahim, 2004. "Nonlinear dynamics in deviations from the law of one price: a broad-based empirical study," Journal of International Money and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 23(1), pages 1-25, February.
    9. Marcus Asplund & Richard Friberg, 2001. "The Law of One Price in Scandinavian Duty-Free Stores," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 91(4), pages 1072-1083, September.
    10. Richardson, J. David, 1978. "Some empirical evidence on commodity arbitrage and the law of one price," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 8(2), pages 341-351, May.
    11. Officer, Lawrence H., 1986. "The law of one price cannot be rejected: Two tests based on the tradable/nontradable price ratio," Journal of Macroeconomics, Elsevier, vol. 8(2), pages 159-182.
    12. Charles Engel & John H. Rogers, 2000. "Violating the Law of One Price: Should We Make a Federal Case Out of It?," Working Papers 0027, University of Washington, Department of Economics.
    13. A. Protopapadakis, Aris & R. Stoll, Hans, 1986. "The Law of One Price in international commodity markets: A reformulation and some formal tests," Journal of International Money and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 5(3), pages 335-360, September.
    14. Benninga, Simon & Protopapadakis, Aris, 1988. "The equilibrium pricing of exchange rates and assets when trade takes time," Journal of International Money and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 7(2), pages 129-149, June.
    15. Pinelopi Koujianou Goldberg & Michael M. Knetter, 1997. "Goods Prices and Exchange Rates: What Have We Learned?," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 35(3), pages 1243-1272, September.
    16. Goodwin, Barry K., 1990. "Empirically Testing the Law of One Price in an International Commodity Market: A Rational Expectations Application to the Natural Rubber Market," Agricultural Economics: The Journal of the International Association of Agricultural Economists, International Association of Agricultural Economists, vol. 4(2), June.
    17. Goodwin, Barry K. & Grennes, Thomas & Wohlgenant, Michael K., 1990. "Testing the law of one price when trade takes time," Journal of International Money and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 9(1), pages 21-40, March.
    18. Michael, Panos & Nobay, A Robert & Peel, David, 1994. "Purchasing power parity yet again: evidence from spatially separated commodity markets," Journal of International Money and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 13(6), pages 637-657, December.
    19. Fred S. McChesney & William F. Shughart & David D. Haddock, 2004. "On the Internal Contradictions of the Law of One Price," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 42(4), pages 706-716, October.
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    Cited by:
    1. Frankel, Jeffrey A. & Rose, Andrew K., 2010. "Determinants of Agricultural and Mineral Commodity Prices," Scholarly Articles 4450126, Harvard Kennedy School of Government.

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