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Super-cycles of commodity prices since the mid-ninteenth century

  • Bilge Erten

Decomposition of real commodity prices suggests four super-cycles during 1865-2009 ranging between 30-40 years with amplitudes 20-40 percent higher or lower than the long-run trend. Non-oil price super-cycles follow world GDP, indicating they are essentially demand-determined; causality runs in the opposite direction for oil prices. The mean of each super-cycle of non-oil commodities is generally lower than for the previous cycle, supporting the Prebisch-Singer hypothesis. Tropical agriculture experienced the strongest and steepest long-term downward trend through the twentieth century, followed by non-tropical agriculture and metals, while real oil prices experienced a long-term upward trend, interrupted temporarily during the twentieth century.

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File URL: http://www.un.org/en/development/desa/papers/2012
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Paper provided by United Nations, Department of Economics and Social Affairs in its series Working Papers with number 110.

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Length: 27 pages
Date of creation: Feb 2012
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:une:wpaper:110
Contact details of provider: Web page: http://www.un.org/en/development/desa/working-papers.html
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