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The Law of One Price Over 700 Years

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  • Froot, Kenneth A.
  • Kim, Michael
  • Rogoff, Kenneth

Abstract

This paper examines annual commodity price data from England and Holland over a span of seven centuries. Our data set incorporates transactions prices on 8 commodities: barley, butter, cheese, eggs, oats, peas, silver, wheat as well as pound/shilling nominal exchange rates going back, in some cases, to 1273. We find that the volatility and persistence of deviations from the law of one price have been remarkably stable over time. LOP deviations are highly correlated across commodities (especially at annual horizons) and, for most pairwise comparisons in most centuries, at least as volatile as relative prices across different goods within the same country. Our analysis challenges the conventional view that the modern floating exchange rate experience is exceptional in terms of the behavior of relative (exchange-rate adjusted) prices across countries.
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Suggested Citation

  • 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.
  • Handle: RePEc:cvs:starer:95-13
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Rogers, John H. & Jenkins, Michael, 1995. "Haircuts or hysteresis? Sources of movements in real exchange rates," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 38(3-4), pages 339-360, May.
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    5. John H. Rogers, 1995. "Real shocks and real exchange rates in really long-term data," International Finance Discussion Papers 493, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
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    7. Alan M. Taylor, 2002. "A Century Of Purchasing-Power Parity," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 84(1), pages 139-150, February.
    8. Taylor, Alan M, 2001. "Potential Pitfalls for the Purchasing-Power-Parity Puzzle? Sampling and Specification Biases in Mean-Reversion Tests of the Law of One Price," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 69(2), pages 473-498, March.
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Commodities; prices;

    JEL classification:

    • F30 - International Economics - - International Finance - - - General

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