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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. 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.).
    2. Giovannini, Alberto, 1988. "Exchange rates and traded goods prices," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 24(1-2), pages 45-68, February.
    3. 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.
    4. 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.
    5. 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.
    6. 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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