World commodity prices and their macroeconomic impact especially on emerging economies have long been a main concern in economic research. Decades ago the Prebisch-Singer hypothesis of secularly deteriorating terms of trade (Prebisch 1950 Singer 1950) was the subject of intense debate and became a cornerstone of major development theories and especially in Latin America of influential policy approaches. In a related fashion extensive literature has studied the long-run behavior of commodity prices. Although there is some controversy about the main drivers of the relative prices of commodities there is consensus that since the nineteenth century four commodity 'super cycles' have taken place. These super cycles have been related to strong demand associated with moments of rapid industrialization and urbanization in major areas of the world. Each of them lasting on average 20 years ended once the supply of commodities increased to match the growing demand (Canuto 2014).
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