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The Relative Volatility of Commodity Prices: A Reappraisal

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Listed:
  • Rabah Arezki
  • Daniel Lederman
  • Hongyan Zhao

Abstract

This paper studies the volatility of commodity prices on the basis of a large dataset of monthly prices observed in international trade data from the United States over the period 2002 to 2011. The conventional wisdom in academia and policy circles is that primary commodity prices are more volatile than those of manufactured products, although most of the existing evidence does not actually attempt to measure the volatility of prices of individual goods or commodities. The literature tends to focus on trends in the evolution and volatility of ratios of price indexes composed of multiple commodities and products. This approach can be misleading. Indeed, the evidence presented in this paper suggests that on average prices of individual primary commodities are less volatile than those of individual manufactured goods. However, the challenges of managing terms of trade volatility in developing countries with concentrated export baskets remain.

Suggested Citation

  • Rabah Arezki & Daniel Lederman & Hongyan Zhao, 2011. "The Relative Volatility of Commodity Prices: A Reappraisal," CESifo Working Paper Series 3694, CESifo Group Munich.
  • Handle: RePEc:ces:ceswps:_3694
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Bouoiyour, Jamal & Selmi, Refk, 2013. "Exchange rate uncertainty and export performance: what meta-analysis reveals?," MPRA Paper 49249, University Library of Munich, Germany, revised Aug 2013.
    2. Jamal Bouoiyour & Refk Selmi, 2015. "Exchange volatility and export performance in Egypt: New insights from wavelet decomposition and optimal GARCH model," The Journal of International Trade & Economic Development, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 24(2), pages 201-227, March.
    3. Jamal Bouoiyour & Refk Selmi, 2014. "Commodity price uncertainty and manufactured exports in Morocco and Tunisia: Some insights from a novel GARCH model," Economics Bulletin, AccessEcon, vol. 34(1), pages 220-233.
    4. Nicolas Merener, 2016. "Concentrated Production and Conditional Heavy Tails in Commodity Returns," Journal of Futures Markets, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 36(1), pages 46-65, January.
    5. Jamal Bouoiyour & Refk Selmi, 2015. "Exchange volatility and trade performance in Morocco and Tunisia: what have we learned so far?," Macroeconomics and Finance in Emerging Market Economies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 8(3), pages 244-274, November.
    6. Bouoiyour, Jamal & Selmi, Refk, 2014. "Exchange Uncertainty and Export Performance in Egypt: New Insights from Wavelet Decomposition and Optimal GARCH Model," MPRA Paper 59568, University Library of Munich, Germany, revised 2014.
    7. Bouoiyour, Jamal & Selmi, Refk, 2014. "How Robust is the Connection between Exchange Rate Uncertainty and Tunisia’s Exports?," MPRA Paper 57505, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    8. Hattendorff, Christian, 2014. "Natural resources, export concentration and financial development," Discussion Papers 2014/34, Free University Berlin, School of Business & Economics.
    9. Bouoiyour, Jamal & Selmi, Refk, 2013. "Commodity Price Uncertainty and Manufactured Exports in Morocco and Tunisia: Some Insights from a Novel GARCH Model," MPRA Paper 53412, University Library of Munich, Germany, revised Nov 2013.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    international commodity prices; volatility; manufactured product prices;

    JEL classification:

    • F14 - International Economics - - Trade - - - Empirical Studies of Trade
    • E32 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Prices, Business Fluctuations, and Cycles - - - Business Fluctuations; Cycles
    • C43 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Econometric and Statistical Methods: Special Topics - - - Index Numbers and Aggregation

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