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The pitfalls of estimating transactions costs from price data: evidence from trans-Atlantic gold-point arbitrage, 1886-1905

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    Abstract

    This paper argues that bilateral spatial price models do not estimate bilateral transactions costs when trade with third cities is important. The paper examines trans-Atlantic gold arbitrage during the gold standard era by assembling a database indicating when trans-Atlantic gold shipments occurred. It shows that two-way gold shipments between New York and London frequently occurred prior to 1901. However, in 1901 gold shipments to London ceased and were replaced by triangular arbitrage shipments through Paris. Consequently, New York and London gold price data cannot be used to estimate New York-London transactions costs after 1901, as no trade took place.

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    File URL: http://www.rbnz.govt.nz/research_and_publications/discussion_papers/2007/dp07_07.pdf
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    Bibliographic Info

    Paper provided by Reserve Bank of New Zealand in its series Reserve Bank of New Zealand Discussion Paper Series with number DP2007/07.

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    Length: 40 p.
    Date of creation: Apr 2007
    Date of revision:
    Handle: RePEc:nzb:nzbdps:2007/07

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    1. Darren L. Frechette & Paul L. Fackler, 1999. "What Causes Commodity Price Backwardation?," American Journal of Agricultural Economics, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 81(4), pages 761-771.
    2. Christopher B. Barrett & Jau Rong Li, 2002. "Distinguishing between Equilibrium and Integration in Spatial Price Analysis," American Journal of Agricultural Economics, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 84(2), pages 292-307.
    3. Spiller, Pablo T. & Wood, Robert O., 1988. "The estimation of transaction costs in arbitrage models," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 39(3), pages 309-326, November.
    4. Deaton, A. & Laroque, G., 1989. "On The Behavior Of Commodity Prices," Papers 145, Princeton, Woodrow Wilson School - Public and International Affairs.
    5. Bob Baulch, 1997. "Transfer Costs, Spatial Arbitrage, and Testing for Food Market Integration," American Journal of Agricultural Economics, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 79(2), pages 477-487.
    6. Deaton, Angus & Laroque, Guy, 1996. "Competitive Storage and Commodity Price Dynamics," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 104(5), pages 896-923, October.
    7. Williams,Jeffrey C. & Wright,Brian D., 1991. "Storage and Commodity Markets," Cambridge Books, Cambridge University Press, number 9780521326162, November.
    8. Fackler, Paul L. & Goodwin, Barry K., 2001. "Spatial price analysis," Handbook of Agricultural Economics, in: B. L. Gardner & G. C. Rausser (ed.), Handbook of Agricultural Economics, edition 1, volume 1, chapter 17, pages 971-1024 Elsevier.
    9. Brennan, Donna & Williams, Jeffrey & Wright, Brian D, 1997. "Convenience Yield without the Convenience: A Spatial-Temporal Interpretation of Storage under Backwardation," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 107(443), pages 1009-22, July.
    10. Gustafson, Robert L., 1958. "Carryover levels for grains: A method for determining amounts that are optimal under specified conditions," Technical Bulletins 157231, United States Department of Agriculture, Economic Research Service.
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    Cited by:
    1. David Chilosi & Oliver Volckart, 2009. "Money, states and empire: financial integration cycles and institutional change in Central Europe, 1400-1520," Economic History Working Papers 27884, London School of Economics and Political Science, Department of Economic History.

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