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International Monetary Fund
This paper studies the impact of the level and volatility of the commodity terms of trade on economic growth, as well as on the three main growth channels: total factor productivity, physical capital accumulation, and human capital acquisition. We use the standard system GMM approach as well as a cross-sectionally augmented version of the pooled mean group (CPMG) methodology of Pesaran et al. (1999) for estimation. The latter takes account of cross-country heterogeneity and cross-sectional dependence, while the former controls for biases associated with simultaneity and unobserved country-specific effects. Using both annual data for 1970-2007 and five-year non-overlapping observations, we find that while commodity terms of trade growth enhances real output per capita, volatility exerts a negative impact on economic growth operating mainly through lower accumulation of physical capital. Our results indicate that the negative growth effects of commodity terms of trade volatility offset the positive impact of commodity booms; and export diversification of primary commodity abundant countries contribute to faster growth. Therefore, we argue that volatility, rather than abundance per se, drives the "resource curse" paradox.
Mr. Kenneth Rogoff, Mr. Kenneth Froot, and Mr. Michael Kim
This paper examines annual commodity price data from England and Holland over a span of seven centuries. Our data incorporates transaction prices on seven commodities: barley, butter, cheese, oats, peas, silver, and wheat, as well as pound/shilling nominal exchange rates going back, in some cases, to 1273. We find that the magnitude, volatility, and persistence of deviations from the law of one price have not declined by as much as one might expect. We find this despite lower transport costs, reduced trade protection, and fewer wars and plagues in the modern era. Our analysis is consistent with growing evidence that goods-market arbitrage remains highly imperfect, even today.
International Monetary Fund


This chapter discusses principles and consequences of the common agricultural policy (CAP) of the European Community (EC). It shows that agricultural pricing policies aimed at supporting farm incomes were already in place in EC member countries before the inception of the CAP; indeed, in the presence of these policies, the CAP was a logical consequence of the extension of the common market to the agricultural sector. Thus, the flaws of the CAP can be traced back to national policies and attitudes toward agriculture. Recognition of the burden of agricultural support on the rest of the economy, as well as the growing budgetary costs, has elicited a greater public interest in the CAP. Equally, the trade frictions caused by export subsidies have underlined the CAP's international implications. For these reasons, the member states appear more determined than hitherto to bring agricultural expenditure under control. Given the wider effects of the CAP both on EC economies and the international community, it is to be hoped that current efforts at reform will be successful.

International Monetary Fund. Research Dept.
This paper considers whether the objective of controlling aggregate reserves is still appropriate under current international monetary arrangements and discusses some of the means that have been proposed to achieve such control. Both the demand for and the supply of world reserves have changed as a result of the shift to flexible exchange rates and the growth of private capital markets as means of financing payments disequilibria. Mechanisms designed to achieve greater control over reserve growth would have to rely on direct constraints on individual countries. The desirability of imposing such constraints must be assessed in the light of how effective liquidity control can be in achieving the objective of more timely and effective adjustment. In this connection, the surveillance of exchange rate policies provided for in the IMF's Proposed Second Amendment to the Articles of Agreement may be a more effective weapon than direct control of liquidity.