Commodity Prices and Global Inflation, 1851-1913

35 Pages Posted: 22 Sep 2021

See all articles by Stefan Gerlach

Stefan Gerlach

Central Bank of Ireland; Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR)

Rebecca Stuart

Central Bank of Ireland

Date Written: September 2021

Abstract

This paper uses annual data to study the interaction of consumer and commodity prices in 15 economies over the period 1850-1913. We find that consumer price inflation in all 15 countries co-moves with a broad measure of changes in commodity prices. Consumer prices comove most strongly with changes in metal prices, in particular pig iron prices. Furthermore, changes in pig iron prices and production, which have attracted much attention in the literature on 19th century US business cycles, co-move with the international business cycle, suggesting that pig iron prices offer a transmission channel through which international business cycle movements affect inflation.

Keywords: commodity prices, Global inflation, gold standard, pig iron

JEL Classification: E31, F40, N10

Suggested Citation

Gerlach, Stefan and Stuart, Rebecca, Commodity Prices and Global Inflation, 1851-1913 (September 2021). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3928837

Stefan Gerlach (Contact Author)

Central Bank of Ireland ( email )

P.O. Box 559
Dame Street
Dublin, 2
Ireland

Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR) ( email )

London
United Kingdom

Rebecca Stuart

Central Bank of Ireland ( email )

P.O. Box 559
Dame Street
Dublin, 2
Ireland

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