NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH
NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH

Yael Hadass

Harvard University

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NBER Working Papers and Publications

March 2001Terms of Trade Shocks and Economic Performance 1870-1940: Prebisch and Singer Revisited
with Jeffrey G. Williamson: w8188
Debate over trends in the terms of trade between primary commodities and manufactures, their causes and their impact has dominated the literature for more than a century. Classical economists claimed that the terms of trade of primary commodities should improve since land and natural resources are always in inelastic supply. Following the Great Depression, a new view emerged. What came to be known as the Prebisch-Singer thesis was instead that the terms of trade for primary products had deteriorated up to the 1950s. The subsequent literature has almost exclusively and obsessively asked whether a deterioration has actually taken place over the 130 years following 1870. Nowhere in this literature has the impact of these terms of trade shocks on long run growth been assessed, although it ...

Published: Hadass, Yael S & Williamson, Jeffrey G, 2003. "Terms-of-Trade Shocks and Economic Performance, 1870-1940: Prebisch and Singer Revisited," Economic Development and Cultural Change, University of Chicago Press, vol. 51(3), pages 629-56, April. citation courtesy of

 
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