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Edited by Heinz D. Kurz and Neri Salvadori

a highly complex system? The ingenious device of the classical authors to see through these complexities and intricacies consisted of distinguishing between market or actual values of the relevant variables, in particular the prices of commodities and the rates of remuneration of primary inputs (labour and land), on the one hand, and natural or normal values, on the other. The former were taken to reflect all kinds of influences, many of an accidental and temporary nature, whereas the latter were conceived of as expressing the persistent, nonaccidental and non

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Edited by Louis-Philippe Rochon and Sergio Rossi

A commodity is any good or service that is useful as an input in production or consumption and can be exchanged with other goods or services. The exchangeability of commodities presupposes the existence of a common element that makes them commensurable to each other. Classical economists argued that the common element contained in commodities is that they are products of labour. Hence, the quantity of labour time spent to produce any commodity becomes the measurement stick of its worthiness. Of course, there are differences and qualifications within this broad

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Luigi Ventimiglia

JOBNAME: Toporowski PAGE: 1 SESS: 7 OUTPUT: Mon Oct 1 09:59:10 2012 8 Commodity markets Luigi Ventimiglia THE STABILIZATION AGENDA UNTIL BRETTON WOODS Throughout the history of economic thought, different schools have covered the issue of stabilizing primary commodity markets in relation to the behaviour of commodity prices, more precisely to their trend and volatility. Regarding trend, the Prebisch–Singer hypothesis argues that the price of primary commodities relative to manufacturing goods tends to decrease over time with consequent loss of real income for

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Leanne Ussher

‘Assuredly nothing can be more inefficient than the present system by which the price is always too high or too low and there are perpetual meaningless fluctuations in the plant and labor force employed.’ ( Keynes 1974 : 451). 1 INTRODUCTION The above quote refers to primary commodity prices, and to Keynes's plea that almost any market intervention was better than none. Primary commodities account for more than one-fifth of global trade, and 65 percent of all developing countries derive more than 50 percent of their export income from commodities ( UNCTAD 2011

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Alfred Maizels

Toye 02 chap6 24/1/03 15:23 Page 169 9. Economic dependence on commodities Alfred Maizels THE ROLE OF THE COMMODITY SECTOR The great majority of the population in developing countries depends, for its welfare and livelihood, on the production and export of primary commodities.1 A strong commodity sector is thus crucial for the progress, both economic and social, of the commodity-exporting developing countries. There are two ways in which this sector could promote economic and social development in these countries: by providing an increasing volume of food

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Marek Dubovec

JOBNAME: Dubovec PAGE: 1 SESS: 14 OUTPUT: Fri Mar 21 10:24:41 2014 10. Commodity account relationships The organization of back-end systems for the holding of commodity accounts is similar to that of securities and funds. All of them are pyramid-modeled with a central entity at the top and a network of relationships among intermediaries and account holders forming the lower tiers of the pyramid holding structure. However, a number of differences in terms of relationships and functions can be identified. For instance, clearing is an important function performed

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Billy Melo Araujo

10. Commodity agreements and markets Billy Melo Araujo 1 INTRODUCTION The term ‘commodity dependence’ is an integral part of any serious discussion relating to the economic development of Africa. Commodities are unprocessed raw materials originating from agricultural activities (coffee, cocoa, cotton, wheat, and so on) or extractive activities (hydrocarbons, minerals, metals, and so on). Their export constitutes the largest source of revenue in Africa, and in a number of countries three or four commodities represent the main source of export earnings, government

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Robert Albritton

11. Commodification and commodity fetishism Robert Albritton For Marx, the commodity presents itself in its clearest and most developed form as the product of a factory-like capitalist production process. In this, units of privately owned and controlled capital exploit wage labour to maximize profits. The result is competition with the most profitable units of capital surviving and expanding and the least profitable shrinking and going under. But the commodity is not simply a material input or output of a capitalist production process, it is also a ‘social form

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Christopher L. Gilbert

44 International commodity agreements Christopher L. Gilbert Introduction The term ‘international commodity agreement’ (henceforth ICA) refers to a treatyagreement between governments of both producing and consuming countries to regulate the terms of international trade in a specified commodity. There have only been five ICAs which have had ‘economic’ (that is interventionist) clauses:1 the International Cocoa Agreement (ICCA), the International Coffee Agreement (ICOA), the International Natural Rubber Agreement (INRA), the International Sugar Agreement (ISA) and

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Nanno Mulder

9. Commodity-producing Sectors AGRICULTURE Since the start of the ICOP programme in 1983 agriculture was the first sector for which international comparisons were carried out. This was because of the similarity of products, and the availability of standardised information on output, inputs, farm prices and farm accounts fiom the Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO). Moreover, problems of quality, product differentiation, coverage and the application of double deflation are smaller for agriculture than for other sectors. Froduction statistics on agriculture