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The Macroeconomic Determinants of Commodity Prices

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  • Eduardo Borensztein
  • Carmen Reinhart

Abstract

The “traditional structural approach” to the determination of real commodity prices has relied exclusively on demand factors as the fundamentals that explain the behavior of commodity prices. This framework, however, has been unable to explain the marked and sustained weakness in commodity prices during the 1980s and 1990s. This paper extends that framework in two important directions: First, it incorporates commodity supply in the analysis, capturing the impact on prices of the sharp increase in commodity exports of developing countries during the debt crisis of the 1980s. Second, we take a broader view of “world” demand that extends beyond the industrial countries and includes output developments in Eastern Europe and the former Soviet Union (FSU). The empirical results support these extensions, as both the fit of the model improves substantially and, more importantly, its ability to forecast increases markedly.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by International Monetary Fund in its series IMF Working Papers with number 94/9.

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Length: 37
Date of creation: 01 Jan 1994
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:imf:imfwpa:94/9

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  1. Angus Deaton & Guy Laroque, 1990. "On The Behavior of Commodity Prices," NBER Working Papers 3439, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Hausman, Jerry A, 1978. "Specification Tests in Econometrics," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 46(6), pages 1251-71, November.
  3. Rudiger Dornbusch, 1985. "Policy and Performance Links between LDC Debtors and Industrial Nations," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 16(2), pages 303-368.
  4. Reinhart, Carmen & Arrau, Patricio & DeGregorio, Jose & Wickham, Peter, 1991. "The demand for money in developing countries: Assessing the role of financial innovation," MPRA Paper 13691, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  5. Alogoskoufis, George & Varangis, Panos, 1992. "OECD fiscal policies and the relative prices of primary commodities," Policy Research Working Paper Series 955, The World Bank.
  6. Leamer, Edward E., 1985. "Vector autoregressions for causal inference?," Carnegie-Rochester Conference Series on Public Policy, Elsevier, vol. 22(1), pages 255-304, January.
  7. Gilbert, Christopher L, 1989. "The Impact of Exchange Rates and Developing Country Debt on Commodity Prices," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 99(397), pages 773-84, September.
  8. Jose De Gregorio & Peter Wickham & Patricio Arrau & Carmen Reinhart, 1991. "The Demand for Money in Developing Countries," IMF Working Papers 91/45, International Monetary Fund.
  9. Hansen, Lars Peter & Hodrick, Robert J, 1980. "Forward Exchange Rates as Optimal Predictors of Future Spot Rates: An Econometric Analysis," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 88(5), pages 829-53, October.
  10. Graciela Kaminsky & Manmohan S. Kumar, 1990. "Efficiency in Commodity Futures Markets," IMF Staff Papers, Palgrave Macmillan, vol. 37(3), pages 670-699, September.
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