Commodity price volatility and world market integration since 1700

David S. Jacks, Kevin H. O'rourke, Jeffrey G. Williamson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Abstract-Poor countries are more volatile than rich countries, and this volatility impedes their growth. Furthermore, commodity prices are a key source of that volatility. This paper explores price volatility since 1700 to offer three stylized facts: commodity price volatility has not increased over time, commodities have always shown greater price volatility than manufactures, and world market integration breeds less commodity price volatility. Thus, economic isolation is associated with much greater commodity price volatility, while world market integration is associated with less.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)800-813
Number of pages14
JournalReview of Economics and Statistics
Issue number3
StatePublished - Aug 2011

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Sciences (miscellaneous)
  • Economics and Econometrics


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