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The terms of trade for agricultural and food products, 1951-2000


  • Serrano, Raúl
  • Pinilla, Vicente


This study aims to answer whether empirical records confirm the existence of a secular decline in the terms of trade affecting primary producers (the Singer–Prebisch hypothesis). The paper analyses the evolution of the terms of trade for agricultural and food products in the second half of the 20 th century. We obtain sixty new real price indices for internationally traded agricultural products. We conclude, from a long-term perspective, that the deterioration in the terms of trade for agricultural and food products was strong and clear in the second half of the last century. In general, less processed products suffered a very heavy fall in their real prices. However, there was no continuous and persistent deterioration in the terms of trade either as a whole or for the great majority of the agricultural and food product groups (with the exception of natural rubber, textile fibres and other raw materials). Rather, this deterioration occurred in stages.

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  • Serrano, Raúl & Pinilla, Vicente, 2011. "The terms of trade for agricultural and food products, 1951-2000," Revista de Historia Económica, Cambridge University Press, vol. 29(02), pages 213-243, September.
  • Handle: RePEc:cup:reveco:v:29:y:2011:i:02:p:213-243_00

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Daron Acemoglu & Simon Johnson & James A. Robinson, 2001. "The Colonial Origins of Comparative Development: An Empirical Investigation," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 91(5), pages 1369-1401, December.
    2. María Teresa Ramírez Girlado & Irene Salazar, 2007. "Surgimiento de la educación en la República de Colombia, ¿En que Fallamos?," BORRADORES DE ECONOMIA 004023, BANCO DE LA REPÚBLICA.
    3. Roberto Luis Jaramillo & Adolfo Meisel Roca, 2009. "Más allá de la retórica de la reacción. Análisis económico de la desamortización en Colombia, 1861-1888," Revista de Economía Institucional, Universidad Externado de Colombia - Facultad de Economía, vol. 11(20), pages 45-81, January-J.
    4. Deininger, Klaus & Squire, Lyn, 1998. "New ways of looking at old issues: inequality and growth," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 57(2), pages 259-287.
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    Cited by:

    1. Pinilla, Vicente & Serrano, Raúl, 2008. "The Agricultural and Food Trade in the First Globalization: Spanish Table Wine Exports 1871 to 1935 – A Case Study," Journal of Wine Economics, Cambridge University Press, vol. 3(02), pages 132-148, December.
    2. Raúl Serrano & Vicente Pinilla, 2014. "New directions of trade for the agri-food industry: a disaggregated approach for different income countries, 1963–2000," Latin American Economic Review, Springer;Centro de Investigaciòn y Docencia Económica (CIDE), vol. 23(1), pages 1-22, December.
    3. Henry Willebald & Marc Badia-Miró & Vicente Pinilla, 2015. "Natural Resources and Economic Development. Some lessons from History," Documentos de Trabajo (DT-AEHE) 1504, Asociacion Espa–ola de Historia Economica.
    4. Manuel Llorca-Jaña, 2014. "The impact of early nineteenth-century globalization on foreign trade in the Southern Cone: A study of British trade statistics," Investigaciones de Historia Económica (IHE) Journal of the Spanish Economic History Association, Asociacion Espa–ola de Historia Economica, vol. 10(01), pages 46-56.
    5. Andersson, Martin & Rohne Till, Emelie, 2017. "Between the Engine and the Fifth Wheel: An Analytical Survey of the Shifting Roles of Agriculture in Development Theory," Lund Papers in Economic History 163, Lund University, Department of Economic History.
    6. Miguel Martín-Retortillo & Vicente Pinilla & Jackeline Velazco & Henry Willebald, 2016. "The dynamics of latin american agricultural production growth, 1950-2008," Documentos de Trabajo (DT-AEHE) 1610, Asociacion Espa–ola de Historia Economica.

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