Commodity markets are integral to the global economy. Understanding what drives developments of these markets is critical to the design of policy frameworks that facilitate the economic objectives of sustainable growth, inflation stability, poverty reduction, food security, and the mitigation of climate change. This study is the first comprehensive analysis examining market and policy developments for all commodity groups, including energy, metals, and agriculture, over the past century. It finds that, while the quantity of commodities consumed has risen enormously, driven by population and income growth, the relative importance of commodities has shifted over time, as technological innovation created new uses for some materials and facilitated substitution among commodities. The study also shows that commodity markets are heterogeneous in terms of their drivers, price behavior, and macroeconomic impact on emerging markets and developing economies, and that the relationship between economic growth and commodity demand varies widely across countries, depending on their stage of economic development. Policy frameworks that enable countercyclical macroeconomic responses have become increasingly common—and beneficial. Other policy tools have had mixed outcomes.
"Discussions about commodity-exporting emerging markets are often based on ideas without empirical or analytical support. This book is a great contribution to improve our understanding of those economies, based on rigorous research. It provides robust empirical evidence including a long-term perspective on commodity prices. It also contains very thoughtful policy analysis, with implications for resilience, macroeconomic policies, and development strategies. It will be a key reference for scholars as well as policy makers."
- José De Gregorio, Dean of the School of Economics and Business, Universidad de Chile, Former Minister of Economy, Mining and Energy, and Former Governor of the Central Bank of Chile
"A sound understanding of commodity markets is more essential than ever in light of the COVID-19 pandemic, the war in Ukraine, and the transition from fossil fuels to renewable energy commodities. This volume offers an excellent, comprehensive, and very timely analysis of the wide range of factors that affect commodity markets. It carefully surveys historical and future trends in commodity supply, demand, and prices, and offers detailed policy proposals to avoid the havoc that turbulent commodity markets can cause on the economies of commodity exporters and importers."
- Rick Van der Ploeg, Research Director of Oxford Centre for the Analysis of Resource-Rich Economies, University of Oxford