Market Power and Commodity Prices: Brazil, Chile and the United States, 1820s-1930
The paper focuses on market power by certain countries in specific commodity markets as a crucial factor in explaining the level of protection. It is argued that a country which is a price maker in the world market of a specific commodity might affect its world price through export taxes, import taxes and commodity stockpiling. Standard reduced form equations were estimated to test if significant market shares in international markets of Brazilian coffee, Chilean saltpetre and US cotton implied domestic variables were relevant for the determination of the corresponding world commodity prices. Results suggest the producers succeeded in passing through increases in internal costs to the relevant world commodity price.
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