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

Listed author(s):
  • 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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Article provided by Cambridge University Press in its journal Revista de Historia Económica.

Volume (Year): 29 (2011)
Issue (Month): 02 (September)
Pages: 213-243

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Handle: RePEc:cup:reveco:v:29:y:2011:i:02:p:213-243_00
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