IDEAS home Printed from
MyIDEAS: Login to save this article or follow this journal

Nonlinear Aspects of Goods-Market Arbitrage and Adjustment: Heckscher's Commodity Points Revisited

  • Obstfeld, Maurice
  • Taylor, Alan M.

We propose that analysis of purchasing power parity (PPP) and the law of one price (LOOP) should explicitly take into account the possibility of "commodity points" -- thresholds delineating a region of no central tendency among relative prices, possib ly due to lack of perfect arbitrage in the presence of transaction costs and uncertainty. More than eighty years ago, Heckscher stressed the importance of such incomplete arbitrage in the empirical application of PPP. We devise an econometric method to identify commodity points. Price adjustment is treated as a nonlinear process, and a threshold autoregression (TAR) offers a parsimonious specification within which both thresholds and adjustment speeds are estimated by maximum likelihood methods. Our m odel performs well using post-1980 data, and yields parameter estimates that appear quite reasonable: adjustment outside the thresholds might imply half-lives of price deviations measured in months rather than years, and the thresholds correspond to popu lar rough estimates as to the order of magnitude of actual transport costs. The estimated commodity points appear to be positively related to objective measures of market segmentation, notably nominal exchange rate volatility.

(This abstract was borrowed from another version of this item.)

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:
Download Restriction: Full text for ScienceDirect subscribers only

As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to look for a different version under "Related research" (further below) or search for a different version of it.

Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Journal of the Japanese and International Economies.

Volume (Year): 11 (1997)
Issue (Month): 4 (December)
Pages: 441-479

in new window

Handle: RePEc:eee:jjieco:v:11:y:1997:i:4:p:441-479
Contact details of provider: Web page:

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. Michael, Panos & Nobay, A Robert & Peel, David A, 1997. "Transactions Costs and Nonlinear Adjustment in Real Exchange Rates: An Empirical Investigation," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 105(4), pages 862-79, August.
  2. Lothian, James R & Taylor, Mark P, 1996. "Real Exchange Rate Behavior: The Recent Float from the Perspective of the Past Two Centuries," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 104(3), pages 488-509, June.
  3. Asea, Patrick K & Mendoza, Enrique G, 1994. "The Balassa-Samuelson Model: A General-Equilibrium Appraisal," Review of International Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 2(3), pages 244-67, October.
  4. Wu, Yangru, 1996. "Are Real Exchange Rates Nonstationary? Evidence from a Panel-Data Test," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 28(1), pages 54-63, February.
  5. Charles Engel, 1998. "Long-Run PPP May Not Hold After All," Discussion Papers in Economics at the University of Washington 0050, Department of Economics at the University of Washington.
  6. Canzoneri, Matthew B. & Cumby, Robert E. & Diba, Behzad, 1999. "Relative labor productivity and the real exchange rate in the long run: evidence for a panel of OECD countries," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 47(2), pages 245-266, April.
  7. Maurice Obstfeld, 1999. "Open-Economy Macroeconomics, Developments in Theory and Policy," NBER Working Papers 6319, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  8. Frankel, Jeffrey A & Rose, Andrew K, 1995. "A Panel Project on Purchasing Power Parity: Mean Reversion Within and Between Countries," CEPR Discussion Papers 1128, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  9. Kenneth A. Froot & Kenneth Rogoff, 1994. "Perspectives on PPP and Long-Run Real Exchange Rates," NBER Working Papers 4952, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  10. Jong-Wha Lee & Phillip Swagel, 2000. "Trade Barriers And Trade Flows Across Countries And Industries," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 79(3), pages 372-382, August.
  11. Oh, Keun-Yeob, 1996. "Purchasing power parity and unit root tests using panel data," Journal of International Money and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 15(3), pages 405-418, June.
  12. David C. Parsley & Shang-Jin Wei, 1996. "Convergence to the Law of One Price Without Trade Barriers or Currency Fluctuations," NBER Working Papers 5654, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  13. Charles Engel, 1995. "Accounting for U.S. Real Exchange Rate Changes," NBER Working Papers 5394, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  14. Balke, Nathan S & Fomby, Thomas B, 1997. "Threshold Cointegration," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 38(3), pages 627-45, August.
  15. Engel, Charles & Hendrickson, Michael K. & Rogers, John H., 1997. "Intranational, Intracontinental, and Intraplanetary PPP," Journal of the Japanese and International Economies, Elsevier, vol. 11(4), pages 480-501, December.
  16. Jeffrey A. Frankel, 1993. "On Exchange Rates," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262061546, June.
  17. Charles Engel & John H. Rogers, 1996. "Regional patterns in the law of one price: the roles of geography vs. currencies," International Finance Discussion Papers 533, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
  18. Kenneth Rogoff, 1996. "The Purchasing Power Parity Puzzle," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 34(2), pages 647-668, June.
  19. Froot, Kenneth A. & Kim, Michael & Rogoff, Kenneth, 1995. "The Law of One Price Over 700 Years," Working Papers 95-13, C.V. Starr Center for Applied Economics, New York University.
  20. Lapham, Beverly J., 1995. "A dynamic general equilibrium analysis of deviations from the laws of one price," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 19(8), pages 1355-1389, November.
  21. Gauri Prakash & Alan M. Taylor, 1997. "Measuring Market Integration: A Model of Arbitrage with an Econometric Application to the Gold Standard, 1879-1913," NBER Working Papers 6073, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  22. repec:cup:cbooks:9780521023399 is not listed on IDEAS
  23. Maurice Obstfeld., 1993. "Model Trending Real Exchange Rates," Center for International and Development Economics Research (CIDER) Working Papers C93-011, University of California at Berkeley.
  24. Sercu, Piet & Uppal, Raman & Van Hulle, Cynthia, 1995. " The Exchange Rate in the Presence of Transaction Costs: Implications for Tests of Purchasing Power Parity," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 50(4), pages 1309-19, September.
  25. Davidson, Russell & MacKinnon, James G, 1981. "Several Tests for Model Specification in the Presence of Alternative Hypotheses," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 49(3), pages 781-93, May.
  26. Evans, G B A & Savin, N E, 1981. "Testing for Unit Roots: 1," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 49(3), pages 753-79, May.
  27. Lothian, James R., 1997. "Multi-country evidence on the behavior of purchasing power parity under the current float," Journal of International Money and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 16(1), pages 19-35, February.
  28. Jorion, Philippe & Sweeney, Richard J., 1996. "Mean reversion in real exchange rates: evidence and implications for forecasting," Journal of International Money and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 15(4), pages 535-550, August.
  29. repec:cup:cbooks:9780521326162 is not listed on IDEAS
  30. Patrick K. Asea, 1994. "The Balassa-Samuelson Model: A General Equilibrium Appraisal," UCLA Economics Working Papers 709, UCLA Department of Economics.
  31. Dumas, Bernard, 1992. "Dynamic Equilibrium and the Real Exchange Rate in a Spatially Separated World," Review of Financial Studies, Society for Financial Studies, vol. 5(2), pages 153-80.
  32. Alan M. Taylor, 1996. "International Capital Mobility in History: Purchasing-Power Parity in the Long Run," NBER Working Papers 5742, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

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

When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:eee:jjieco:v:11:y:1997:i:4:p:441-479. 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: (Zhang, Lei)

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.

This information is provided to you by IDEAS at the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis using RePEc data.