The Real Real Price of Nonrenewable Resources: Copper 1870-2000
AbstractOver the past 40 years economists have devoted considerable effort to estimating long-run trends in real commodity prices. The results indicate that the real prices for many commodities have fallen, suggesting to the surprise of many that resource scarcity is declining over time. Almost all of this work, however, uses the U.S. producer price index or other standard price deflators, which recent research shows overestimate inflation for several reasons. This article examines copper prices with adjusted deflators designed to eliminate this bias. It finds that the trend over time, which is significantly downward when no adjustment is made to the deflator, displays no tendency in either direction or is significantly upward depending on the magnitude of the deflator adjustment employed. These findings suggest that real resource prices provide less support than widely assumed for the hypothesis that resources are becoming more available or less scarce over time.
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Bibliographic InfoPaper provided by Stockholm University, Institute for International Economic Studies in its series Seminar Papers with number 723.
Length: 33 pages
Date of creation: 17 Jul 2003
Date of revision:
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Postal: Institute for International Economic Studies, Stockholm University, S-106 91 Stockholm, Sweden
Web page: http://www.iies.su.se/
More information through EDIRC
resources; copper; real price; inflation bias; scarcity;
Find related papers by JEL classification:
- C30 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Multiple or Simultaneous Equation Models; Multiple Variables - - - General
- F10 - International Economics - - Trade - - - General
- O13 - Economic Development, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Agriculture; Natural Resources; Environment; Other Primary Products
- Q30 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Nonrenewable Resources and Conservation - - - General
This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:
- NEP-MIC-2003-07-21 (Microeconomics)
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