Working Paper

150 years of boom and bust: what drives mineral commodity prices?

Abstract: My paper provides long-run evidence on the dynamic effects of supply and demand shocks on mineral commodity prices. I assemble and analyze a new data set of price and production levels of copper, lead, tin, and zinc from 1840 to 2010. Price fluctuations are primarily driven by demand rather than supply shocks. Demand shocks affect the price persistently for up to five-teen years, whereas the effect of mineral supply shocks persists for a maximum of five years. My paper shows that price surges caused by rapid industrialization are a recurrent phenomenon throughout history. Mineral commodity prices return to their declining or stable trends in the long run.

Keywords: SVAR; prices; Mineral commodity markets; non-renewable resources;

JEL Classification: Q33; Q31; E30; N50;

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Bibliographic Information

Provider: Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas

Part of Series: Working Papers

Publication Date: 2014-12-12

Number: 1414

Pages: 37 pages