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The Law of One Price Over 700 Years

Author

Listed:
  • 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. Charles Engel, 1999. "Accounting for U.S. Real Exchange Rate Changes," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 107(3), pages 507-538, June.
    2. Michael B. Devereux & Charles Engel, 2003. "Monetary Policy in the Open Economy Revisited: Price Setting and Exchange-Rate Flexibility," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 70(4), pages 765-783.
    3. 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.), revised 1995.
    4. Giovannini, Alberto, 1988. "Exchange rates and traded goods prices," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 24(1-2), pages 45-68, February.
    5. Engel, Charles & Rogers, John H, 1996. "How Wide Is the Border?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 86(5), pages 1112-1125, December.
    6. 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.
    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. Devereux, Michael B & Engel, Charles M, 2000. "Monetary Policy In The Open Economy Revisited: Price Setting Rules And Exchange Rate Flexibility," CEPR Discussion Papers 2454, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    9. Charles Engel, 1991. "Is real exchange rate variability caused by relative price changes? An empirical investigation," Research Working Paper 91-02, Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City, revised 1991.
    10. 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.
    11. Lothian, James R. & Taylor, Mark P., 1997. "Real exchange rate behavior," Journal of International Money and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 16(6), pages 945-954, December.
    12. Isard, Peter, 1977. "How Far Can We Push the "Law of One Price"?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 67(5), pages 942-948, December.
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Commodities; prices;

    JEL classification:

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

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