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Testing the Prebisch-Singer Hypothesis since 1650

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Author Info

  • Rabah Arezki
  • Kaddour Hadri
  • Prakash Loungani
  • Yao Rao

Abstract

In this paper, we re-examine two important aspects of the dynamics of relative primary commodity prices, namely the secular trend and the short run volatility. To do so, we employ 25 series, some of them starting as far back as 1650 and powerful panel data stationarity tests that allow for endogenous multiple structural breaks. Results show that all the series are stationary after allowing for endogeneous multiple breaks. Test results on the Prebisch-Singer hypothesis, which states that relative commodity prices follow a downward secular trend, are mixed but with a majority of series showing negative trends. We also make a first attempt at identifying the potential drivers of the structural breaks. We end by investigating the dynamics of the volatility of the 25 relative primary commodity prices also allowing for endogenous multiple breaks. We describe the often time-varying volatility in commodity prices and show that it has increased in recent years.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by International Monetary Fund in its series IMF Working Papers with number 13/180.

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Length: 37
Date of creation: 15 Aug 2013
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:imf:imfwpa:13/180

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Related research

Keywords: Commodity prices; Commodity price fluctuations; Economic models; Primary commodities; Unit root tests; Multiple Structural breaks; Volatility.; commodity markets; transport costs; exchange rate regimes; terms of trade; speculative capital; competitive markets;

References

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  1. Kaddour Hadri, 2000. "Testing for stationarity in heterogeneous panel data," Econometrics Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 3(2), pages 148-161.
  2. Angus Deaton, 1999. "Commodity Prices and Growth in Africa," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 13(3), pages 23-40, Summer.
  3. Eyal Dvir & Kenneth S. Rogoff, 2009. "Three Epochs of Oil," NBER Working Papers 14927, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  4. Perron, P. & Bai, J., 1995. "Estimating and Testing Linear Models with Multiple Structural Changes," Cahiers de recherche 9552, Centre interuniversitaire de recherche en ├ęconomie quantitative, CIREQ.
  5. Kellard, Neil & Wohar, Mark E., 2006. "On the prevalence of trends in primary commodity prices," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 79(1), pages 146-167, February.
  6. David I. Harvey, & Stephen J. Leybourne, & A. M. Robert Taylor, 2006. "A simple, robust and powerful test of the trend hypothesis," Discussion Papers 06/01, University of Nottingham, Granger Centre for Time Series Econometrics.
  7. David I. Harvey & Stephen J. Leybourne & A.M. Robert Taylor, . "Simple, Robust and Powerful Tests of the Breaking Trend Hypothesis," Discussion Papers 06/11, University of Nottingham, School of Economics.
  8. Paul Cashin & C. John McCDermott, 2002. "The Long-Run Behavior of Commodity Prices: Small Trends and Big Variability," IMF Staff Papers, Palgrave Macmillan, vol. 49(2), pages 2.
  9. Hartwick, John M, 1977. "Intergenerational Equity and the Investing of Rents from Exhaustible Resources," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 67(5), pages 972-74, December.
  10. Lange, Glenn-Marie & Wright, Matthew, 2004. "Sustainable development in mineral economies: the example of Botswana," Environment and Development Economics, Cambridge University Press, vol. 9(04), pages 485-505, August.
  11. Kaddour Hadri & Yao Rao, 2008. "Panel Stationarity Test with Structural Breaks," Oxford Bulletin of Economics and Statistics, Department of Economics, University of Oxford, vol. 70(2), pages 245-269, 04.
  12. Bilge Erten, 2012. "Super-cycles of commodity prices since the mid-ninteenth century," Working Papers 110, United Nations, Department of Economics and Social Affairs.
  13. Perron, P, 1988. "The Great Crash, The Oil Price Shock And The Unit Root Hypothesis," Papers 338, Princeton, Department of Economics - Econometric Research Program.
  14. Kaddour Hadri & Rolf Larsson, 2005. "Testing for stationarity in heterogeneous panel data where the time dimension is finite," Econometrics Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 8(1), pages 55-69, 03.
  15. David I. Harvey & Neil M. Kellard & Jakob B. Madsen & Mark E. Wohar, 2010. "The Prebisch-Singer Hypothesis: Four Centuries of Evidence," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 92(2), pages 367-377, May.
  16. Reinhart, Carmen & Wickham, Peter, 1994. "Commodity Prices: Cyclical Weakness or Secular Decline?," MPRA Paper 8173, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  17. Tae-Hwan Kim & Stephan Pfaffenzeller & Tony Rayner & Paul Newbold, 2003. "Testing for Linear Trend with Application to Relative Primary Commodity Prices," Journal of Time Series Analysis, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 24(5), pages 539-551, 09.
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