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Determinants of the Physical Demand for Gold: Evidence from Panel Data


  • Martha Starr
  • Ky Tran


Although the role of gold in the world economy has declined since the gold standard was abandoned, it remains important as a central bank reserve, a hedge against risks, a barometer of geopolitical uncertainty, and an input for jewellery. While portfolio demand for gold has been well studied, determinants of physical demand are less understood. Certain emerging‐market countries such as China and India import substantial amounts of gold, with several factors that may contribute: low financial development, need for precautionary savings and/or strong cultural valuation of gold itself. This article uses panel data on gold imports of 21 countries to examine determinants of physical demand. We find that determinants of physical demand differ from those of portfolio demand, and that they differ between the developed and developing worlds.

Suggested Citation

  • Martha Starr & Ky Tran, 2008. "Determinants of the Physical Demand for Gold: Evidence from Panel Data," The World Economy, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 31(3), pages 416-436, March.
  • Handle: RePEc:bla:worlde:v:31:y:2008:i:3:p:416-436
    DOI: 10.1111/j.1467-9701.2007.01091.x

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    Cited by:

    1. Lucey, Brian M. & Sharma, Susan Sunila & Vigne, Samuel A., 2017. "Gold and inflation(s) – A time-varying relationship," Economic Modelling, Elsevier, vol. 67(C), pages 88-101.
    2. Gülseven, Osman & Ekici, Özgün, 2016. "The Turkish appetite for gold: An Islamic explanation," Resources Policy, Elsevier, vol. 48(C), pages 41-49.
    3. Hoang, Thi Hong Van & Lahiani, Amine & Heller, David, 2016. "Is gold a hedge against inflation? New evidence from a nonlinear ARDL approach," Economic Modelling, Elsevier, vol. 54(C), pages 54-66.
    4. Liu, Jingting, 2016. "Covered in Gold: Examining gold consumption by middle class consumers in emerging markets," International Business Review, Elsevier, vol. 25(3), pages 739-747.
    5. Menon, Seetha, 2020. "The effect of marital endowments on domestic violence in India," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 143(C).
    6. Kapur, Muneesh & Mohan, Rakesh, 2014. "India’s Recent Macroeconomic Performance: An Assessment and the Way Forward," India Policy Forum, National Council of Applied Economic Research, vol. 10(1), pages 205-295.
    7. Thi Hong Van Hoang & Amine Lahiani & David Heller, 2016. "Is gold a hedge against inflation? New evidence from a nonlinear ARDL approach," Post-Print hal-02012307, HAL.
    8. Allison Truitt, 2018. "Nationalizing gold: The Vietnamese SJC gold bar and the Indian Gold Coin," Economic Anthropology, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 5(2), pages 224-234, June.
    9. Irandoust, Manuchehr, 2017. "Metal prices and stock market performance: Is there an empirical link?," Resources Policy, Elsevier, vol. 52(C), pages 389-392.
    10. Hatemi-J, Abdulnasser & Irandoust, Manuchehr, 2015. "Modelling Asymmetry in Oil, Gold and Stock Markets by a Hidden Cointegration Technique. - Modelli di asimmetria nel mercato del petrolio, dell’oro e nei mercati azionari attraverso una tecnica di coin," Economia Internazionale / International Economics, Camera di Commercio Industria Artigianato Agricoltura di Genova, vol. 68(2), pages 213-228.
    11. Mukherjee, Paramita & Mukherjee, Vivekananda & Das, Debasmita, 2017. "Estimating elasticity of import demand for gold in India," Resources Policy, Elsevier, vol. 51(C), pages 183-193.
    12. Kanjilal, Kakali & Ghosh, Sajal, 2014. "Income and price elasticity of gold import demand in India: Empirical evidence from threshold and ARDL bounds test cointegration," Resources Policy, Elsevier, vol. 41(C), pages 135-142.
    13. Mohd Fahmi Ghazali* & Hooi Hooi Lean & Zakaria Bahari, 2018. "Gold Investment in Malaysia: Refuge from Stock Market Turmoil or Inflation-Protector?," The Journal of Social Sciences Research, Academic Research Publishing Group, pages 214-224:2.
    14. O'Connor, Fergal A. & Lucey, Brian M. & Batten, Jonathan A. & Baur, Dirk G., 2015. "The financial economics of gold — A survey," International Review of Financial Analysis, Elsevier, vol. 41(C), pages 186-205.
    15. Amit Ghosh, 2016. "Determinants of Gold Demand in Reserve Bank of India's foreign exchange reserve portfolio," Economics Bulletin, AccessEcon, issue 4, pages 1929-1937.
    16. Muhammad Aftab & Syed Zulfiqar Ali Shah & Izlin Ismail, 2019. "Does Gold Act as a Hedge or a Safe Haven against Equity and Currency in Asia?," Global Business Review, International Management Institute, vol. 20(1), pages 105-118, February.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • O16 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Financial Markets; Saving and Capital Investment; Corporate Finance and Governance
    • E21 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Consumption, Saving, Production, Employment, and Investment - - - Consumption; Saving; Wealth
    • G15 - Financial Economics - - General Financial Markets - - - International Financial Markets


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