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Whither the Terms of Trade? An Elaboration of the Prebisch-Singer Hypothesis

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  • Bloch, Harry
  • Sapsford, David

Abstract

Movements in the prices of primary products and manufactured goods are analysed using a model that introduces differences in wage and price determination between primary production and manufacturing. Wages and prices in primary production are treated as competitively determined, while prices and wages in manufacturing are determined by mark-up pricing and union-employer bargaining, respectively. The objective is to capture the influence of structural differences between manufacturing and primary production on the terms of trade between industrialised and developing worlds as discussed in the seminal contributions to the development literature by Raul Prebisch and Hans Singer. The model is estimated using price and wage data from the post-World War II period. Support is found for the Prebisch-Singer hypothesis; however, our estimates suggest that, during periods of particularly rapid manufacturing growth, there have been intervals of net improvement in the terms of trade of primary producers. Copyright 2000 by Oxford University Press.

Suggested Citation

  • Bloch, Harry & Sapsford, David, 2000. "Whither the Terms of Trade? An Elaboration of the Prebisch-Singer Hypothesis," Cambridge Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 24(4), pages 461-481, July.
  • Handle: RePEc:oup:cambje:v:24:y:2000:i:4:p:461-81
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    Cited by:

    1. Peretto, Pietro F. & Valente, Simone, 2011. "Resources, innovation and growth in the global economy," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 58(4), pages 387-399.
    2. Bilge Erten, 2010. "Industrial Upgrading and Export Diversification: A Comparative Analysis of Economic Policies in Turkey and Malaysia," Working Papers id:2778, eSocialSciences.
    3. Jörg Mayer, 2002. "The Fallacy of Composition: A Review of the Literature," The World Economy, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 25(6), pages 875-894, June.
    4. Andrew Mold and Annalisa Prizzon, 2010. "Fragile States, Commodity Booms And Export Performance: An Analysis Of The Sub-Saharan African Case," RSCAS Working Papers 2010/21, European University Institute.
    5. Hadass, Yael S & Williamson, Jeffrey G, 2003. "Terms-of-Trade Shocks and Economic Performance, 1870-1940: Prebisch and Singer Revisited," Economic Development and Cultural Change, University of Chicago Press, vol. 51(3), pages 629-656, April.
    6. Thomas H.W. Ziesemer, 2014. "Country terms of trade: trends, unit roots, over-differencing, endogeneity, time dummies, and heterogeneity," International Review of Applied Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 28(6), pages 767-796, September.
    7. Bloch, Harry & Sapsford, David, 2012. "The Malthusian Paradox: Declining Food Prices in the Very Long Run," 2012 Conference (56th), February 7-10, 2012, Freemantle, Australia 124240, Australian Agricultural and Resource Economics Society.
    8. Nicola Kim Rowbotham, Adrian Saville & Douglas Mbululu, 2014. "Exchange Rate Policy and Export Performance in Efficiency-Driven Economies," Working Papers 469, Economic Research Southern Africa.
    9. Muradian, Roldan & O'Connor, Martin & Martinez-Alier, Joan, 2002. "Embodied pollution in trade: estimating the 'environmental load displacement' of industrialised countries," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 41(1), pages 51-67, April.
    10. John T. Cuddington & Rodney Ludema & Shamila A Jayasuriya, 2002. "Prebisch-Singer Redux," Working Papers Central Bank of Chile 140, Central Bank of Chile.
      • Cuddington, John T. & Ludema, Rodney & Jayasuriya, Shamila A, 2002. "Prebisch-Singer Redux," Working Papers 15857, United States International Trade Commission, Office of Economics.
    11. Ghoshray, Atanu & Kejriwal, Mohitosh & Wohar, Mark E., 2011. "Breaking Trends and the Prebisch-Singer Hypothesis: A Further Investigation," 2011 International Congress, August 30-September 2, 2011, Zurich, Switzerland 120387, European Association of Agricultural Economists.
    12. André Varella Mollick & João Ricardo Faria & Pedro H. Albuquerque & Miguel A. León-Ledesma, 2008. "Can globalisation stop the decline in commodities' terms of trade?," Cambridge Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 32(5), pages 683-701, September.
    13. Ghoshray Atanu & Kejriwal Mohitosh & Wohar Mark, 2014. "Breaks, trends and unit roots in commodity prices: a robust investigation," Studies in Nonlinear Dynamics & Econometrics, De Gruyter, vol. 18(1), pages 23-40, February.
    14. Harry Bloch, 2016. "Prices In Motion: Towards A Schumpeterian Price Theory," Metroeconomica, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 67(4), pages 742-767, November.
    15. Surajit Deb, 2003. "Terms of Trade and Supply Response of Indian Agriculture: Analysis in Cointegration Framework," Working papers 115, Centre for Development Economics, Delhi School of Economics.
    16. José Antonio Ocampo & María Angela Parra, 2004. "The commodity terms of trade and their strategic implications for development," International Trade 0403001, EconWPA.
    17. Paul Newbold & Stephan Pfaffenzeller & Anthony Rayner, 2005. "How well are long-run commodity price series characterized by trend components?," Journal of International Development, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 17(4), pages 479-494.
    18. Bernhard G. Gunter & Valeria Vargas Sejas, 2017. "Free Falling Terms of Trade Despite Industrialization: The Case of Bangladesh," Bangladesh Development Research Working Paper Series (BDRWPS) BDRWPS No. 33, Bangladesh Development Research Center (BDRC).
    19. Appleyard, Dennis R, 2006. "The Terms of Trade between the United Kingdom and British India, 1858-1947," Economic Development and Cultural Change, University of Chicago Press, vol. 54(3), pages 635-654, April.
    20. Kaplinsky, Raphael, 2006. "Revisiting the revisited terms of trade: Will China make a difference?," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 34(6), pages 981-995, June.
    21. Araujo, Ricardo, 2013. "Assessing the Dynamics of Terms of Trade in a Model of Cumulative Causation and Structural Change," MPRA Paper 46049, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    22. Christopher Blattman & Jason Hwang & Jeffrey G. Williamson, 2003. "The Terms of Trade and Economic Growth in the Periphery 1870-1938," NBER Working Papers 9940, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.

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