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The relative volatility of commodity prices : a reappraisal

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  • Arezki, Rabah
  • Lederman, Daniel
  • Zhao, Hongyan

Abstract

This paper studies the volatility of commodity prices on the basis of a large dataset of monthly prices observed in international trade data from the United States over the period 2002 to 2011. The conventional wisdom in academia and policy circles is that primary commodity prices are more volatile than those of manufactured products, although most of the existing evidence does not actually attempt to measure the volatility of prices of individual goods or commodities. The literature tends to focus on trends in the evolution and volatility of ratios of price indexes composed of multiple commodities and products. This approach can be misleading. Indeed, the evidence presented in this paper suggests that on average prices of individual primary commodities are less volatile than those of individual manufactured goods. However, the challenges of managing terms of trade volatility in developing countries with concentrated export baskets remain.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by The World Bank in its series Policy Research Working Paper Series with number 5903.

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Date of creation: 01 Dec 2011
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Handle: RePEc:wbk:wbrwps:5903

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Keywords: Markets and Market Access; Emerging Markets; Commodities; E-Business; Access to Markets;

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References

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  1. Daniel Lederman & William F. Maloney, 2007. "Natural Resources : Neither Curse nor Destiny," World Bank Publications, The World Bank, number 7183, October.
  2. Calvo-Gonzalez, Oscar & Shankar, Rashmi & Trezzi, Riccardo, 2010. "Are commodity prices more volatile now ? a long-run perspective," Policy Research Working Paper Series 5460, The World Bank.
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  5. Caballero, Ricardo & Farhi, Emmanuel & Gourinchas, Pierre-Olivier, 2008. "Financial Crash, Commodity Prices and Global Imbalances," CEPR Discussion Papers 7064, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
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  9. Rabah Arezki & Markus Brückner, 2011. "Food Prices and Political Instability," CESifo Working Paper Series 3544, CESifo Group Munich.
  10. Robert C. Feenstra & John Romalis & Peter K. Schott, 2002. "U.S. Imports, Exports, and Tariff Data, 1989-2001," NBER Working Papers 9387, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  11. Markus Brückner & Antonio Ciccone, 2010. "International Commodity Prices, Growth and the Outbreak of Civil War in Sub-Saharan Africa," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 120(544), pages 519-534, 05.
  12. Peter K. Schott, 2004. "Across-product Versus Within-product Specialization in International Trade," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 119(2), pages 646-677, May.
  13. James E. Rauch, 1996. "Networks versus Markets in International Trade," NBER Working Papers 5617, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  14. Anthony J. Venables & William Maloney & Ari Kokko & Claudio Bravo Ortega & Daniel Lederman & Roberto Rigobón & José De Gregorio & Jesse Czelusta & Shamila A. Jayasuriya & Magnus Blomström & L. Coli, . "Natural Resources: Neither Curse nor Destiny," IDB Publications 59538, Inter-American Development Bank.
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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Jamal Bouoiyour & Refk Selmi, 2014. "Commodity price uncertainty and manufactured exports in Morocco and Tunisia: Some insights from a novel GARCH model," Economics Bulletin, AccessEcon, vol. 34(1), pages 220-233.
  2. Bouoiyour, Jamal & Selmi, Refk, 2013. "Commodity Price Uncertainty and Manufactured Exports in Morocco and Tunisia: Some Insights from a Novel GARCH Model," MPRA Paper 53412, University Library of Munich, Germany, revised Nov 2013.
  3. Bouoiyour, Jamal & Selmi, Refk, 2013. "Exchange rate uncertainty and export performance: what meta-analysis reveals?," MPRA Paper 49249, University Library of Munich, Germany, revised Aug 2013.
  4. Bouoiyour, Jamal & Selmi, Refk, 2013. "Exchange Volatility and Export Performance in Egypt: New Insights from Wavelet Decomposition and Optimal GARCH Model," MPRA Paper 49140, University Library of Munich, Germany, revised Jan 2013.

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