Advanced Search
MyIDEAS: Login to save this paper or follow this series

Structural breaks and long-run trends in commodity prices

Contents:

Author Info

  • Leon, Javier
  • Soto, Raimundo

Abstract

The oil shocks of the 1970s, which quadrupled the price of petroleum, marked the end of an abnormal period of price stability and renewed interest in predicting the evolution of commodity prices. But most subsequent studies have focused on the short-run effects of price fluctuations, mainly because they greatly affect the foreign trade of developing countries. Sophisticated compensation mechanisms, such as commodity funds, have been introduced to counterbalance the transitory effects of price shocks. But the long-term evolution of prices also affects policy design and development strategies and may have a more important role in fostering long-run growth. The evidence presented by Prebisch (1950) and Singer (1950) of a secular negative trend in the price of commodities in 1870-1945 implies an increasingly weak position for developing countries relative to industrial economies. This hypothesis by Prebisch and Singer has been strongly debated, both theoretically and empirically, during the past four decades. Using recent advances in econometric theory, the authors analyze the long-run dynamics of the price of the 24 most-traded commodities in 1900-92. The method they use tests for nonstationarity (unit roots) in the series with a technique that allows structural breaks to be endogenously determined. The results show that 15 of the 24 commodity prices present negative trends, six are trendless, and three exhibit positive trends. Thus, the Prebisch-Singer hypothesis though not universal, holds for most commodities. This evidence rejects, to some extent, previous evidence by Cuddington (1992) and others. The authors extend the econometric analysis to determine the persistence of shocks to commodity prices. Knowledge of the persistence of shocks is important when designing counterbalancing policies such as commodity funds. The authors use a nonparametric estimator of persistence (the multiple variance ratio) and find that 19 of the 24 commodity prices present persistence levels substantially lower than previous estimates. This evidence suggests that there may be substantial room for stabilization and price support mechanisms for most commodities.

Download Info

If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.
File URL: http://www-wds.worldbank.org/servlet/WDSContentServer/WDSP/IB/1995/01/01/000009265_3970311121320/Rendered/PDF/multi_page.pdf
Download Restriction: no

Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by The World Bank in its series Policy Research Working Paper Series with number 1406.

as in new window
Length:
Date of creation: 31 Jan 1995
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:wbk:wbrwps:1406

Contact details of provider:
Postal: 1818 H Street, N.W., Washington, DC 20433
Phone: (202) 477-1234
Email:
Web page: http://www.worldbank.org/
More information through EDIRC

Related research

Keywords: Scientific Research&Science Parks; Environmental Economics&Policies; Economic Theory&Research; Markets and Market Access; Commodities; Environmental Economics&Policies; Economic Theory&Research; Markets and Market Access; Access to Markets; Commodities;

Other versions of this item:

Find related papers by JEL classification:

References

References listed on IDEAS
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
as in new window
  1. Anindya Banerjee & Robin L. Lumsdaine & James H. Stock, 1990. "Recursive and Sequential Tests of the Unit Root and Trend Break Hypothesis: Theory and International Evidence," NBER Working Papers 3510, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Perron, P, 1988. "The Great Crash, The Oil Price Shock And The Unit Root Hypothesis," Papers, Princeton, Department of Economics - Econometric Research Program 338, Princeton, Department of Economics - Econometric Research Program.
  3. Vial, Joaquin, 1992. "Copper consumption in the USA: Main determinants and structural changes," Resources Policy, Elsevier, vol. 18(2), pages 107-121, June.
  4. Peter Wickham & Carmen Reinhart, 1994. "Commodity Prices," IMF Working Papers 94/7, International Monetary Fund.
  5. Carmen M. Reinhart & Peter Wickham, 1994. "Commodity Prices: Cyclical Weakness or Secular Decline?," IMF Staff Papers, Palgrave Macmillan, vol. 41(2), pages 175-213, June.
  6. Glenn D. Rudebusch, 1992. "The uncertain unit root in real GNP," Finance and Economics Discussion Series, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.) 193, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
  7. Danny Quah, 1988. "The Relative Importance of Permanent and Transitory Components: Identification and Some Theoretical Bounds," Working papers 498, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Department of Economics.
  8. Dickey, David A & Fuller, Wayne A, 1981. "Likelihood Ratio Statistics for Autoregressive Time Series with a Unit Root," Econometrica, Econometric Society, Econometric Society, vol. 49(4), pages 1057-72, June.
  9. Cuddington, John T., 1992. "Long-run trends in 26 primary commodity prices : A disaggregated look at the Prebisch-Singer hypothesis," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 39(2), pages 207-227, October.
  10. Andrew W. Lo & A. Craig MacKinlay, 1988. "The Size and Power of the Variance Ratio Test in Finite Samples: A Monte Carlo Investigation," NBER Technical Working Papers 0066, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  11. Behrman, Jere R., 1987. "Commodity price instability and economic goal attainment in developing countries," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 15(5), pages 559-573, May.
  12. Cochrane, John H, 1988. "How Big Is the Random Walk in GNP?," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, University of Chicago Press, vol. 96(5), pages 893-920, October.
  13. D. Sapsford & P. Sarkar & H. W. Singer, 1992. "The prebisch‐singer terms of trade controversy revisited," Journal of International Development, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 4(3), pages 315-332, 05.
  14. Chow, K. Victor & Denning, Karen C., 1993. "A simple multiple variance ratio test," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 58(3), pages 385-401, August.
Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

Citations

Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.
as in new window

Cited by:
This item has more than 25 citations. To prevent cluttering this page, these citations are listed on a separate page.

Lists

This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

Statistics

Access and download statistics

Corrections

When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:wbk:wbrwps:1406. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Roula I. Yazigi).

If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.

If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.