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Commodity Prices and the Terms of Trade

  • Mario Crucini
  • Prasad Bidarkota

On combining national terms-of-trade data for developing countries with world prices of internationally traded primary commodities, it is found that variation in the world prices of three or fewer key exported commodities account for 50% or more of the annual variation in the terms of trade of a typical developing country. A considerable fraction of the variation is specific to a particular commodity and, given that the overall importance of primary commodities differs across developing countries, it is possible to account for much of the heterogeneity across them. It is concluded that commodity price fluctuations should be central features of two related literatures: studies of business cycle transmission across developing and industrialized nations, and empirical work aimed at constructing perpetual claims on developing country incomes as suggested by Shiller in 1995. Copyright 2000 by Blackwell Publishing Ltd.

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Paper provided by Ohio State University, Department of Economics in its series Working Papers with number 98-01.

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Date of creation: Dec 1997
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Handle: RePEc:osu:osuewp:98-01
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  1. Reinhart, Carmen & Wickham, Peter, 1994. "Non-oil commodity prices: Cyclical weakness or secular decline?," MPRA Paper 13871, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  2. Shiller, Robert J., 1995. "Aggregate income risks and hedging mechanisms," The Quarterly Review of Economics and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 35(2), pages 119-152.
  3. Bleaney, Michael F & Greenaway, David, 1993. "Long-Run Trends in the Relative Price of Primary Commodities and in the Terms of Trade of Developing Countries," Oxford Economic Papers, Oxford University Press, vol. 45(3), pages 349-63, July.
  4. Peter C.B. Phillips, 1985. "Understanding Spurious Regressions in Econometrics," Cowles Foundation Discussion Papers 757, Cowles Foundation for Research in Economics, Yale University.
  5. Angus Deaton & Guy Laroque, 1990. "On The Behavior of Commodity Prices," NBER Working Papers 3439, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  6. Hall, Robert E, 1978. "Stochastic Implications of the Life Cycle-Permanent Income Hypothesis: Theory and Evidence," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 86(6), pages 971-87, December.
  7. Gene M. Grossman & Assaf Razin, 1983. "International Capital Movements Under Uncertainty," NBER Working Papers 1075, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  8. Michael A. Kouparitsas, 1997. "North-South terms of trade: an empirical investigation," Working Paper Series, Macroeconomic Issues WP-97-05, Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago.
  9. Granger, C. W. J. & Newbold, P., 1974. "Spurious regressions in econometrics," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 2(2), pages 111-120, July.
  10. Cuddington, John T & Urzua, Carlos M, 1989. "Trends and Cycles in the Net Barter Terms of Trade: A New Approach," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 99(396), pages 426-42, June.
  11. Sapsford, D, 1985. "The Statistical Debate on the Net Barter Terms of Trade between Primary Commodities and Manufactures: A Comment and Some Additional Evidence," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 95(379), pages 781-88, September.
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