Copper Prices and Heterogeneity: The Chilean and Norwegian Cases, 1850–1913

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingBook chapter


As a first approach to the comparison between the Andean and the Nordic countries, it is their specialisation on natural resource exportation. But even though both regions exported similar commodities at the beginning of the nineteenth century, how similar were they really? In this article, we analyse the
copper exportation of Chile and Norway in order to see small differences that can have made a difference in the long-run evolution of these two countries. We review the international copper price indices available in the literature and we compare them with a new data set, from the Official Foreign Trade statistics of
these two relevant copper producers, Chile and Norway. This data includes information on value-added and price/volume indicators incorporating differences in varieties, qualities and transport costs. Our main contribution is that if the previous series are based on the assumption that copper is a homogeneous and standard product, and therefore it has one single international price, in the real world many different qualities as well as levels of processing were included into the production of each particular country, changing it also over time. Those varieties of copper would have mattered crucially for its implications on growth. The deepest knowledge on commodity price formation would improve forecasting for development policies on the mining sector.


External organisations
  • University of Barcelona
Research areas and keywords

Subject classification (UKÄ) – MANDATORY

  • Economic History


  • Copper, Chile, Norway, commodities
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationNatural Resources and Divergence
Subtitle of host publicationA Comparison of Andean and Nordic Trajectories
EditorsChristian Ducoing, José Peres-Cajías
PublisherPalgrave Macmillan
Pages 41-66
ISBN (Electronic)978-3-030-71044-6
ISBN (Print)978-3-030-71043-9
Publication statusPublished - 2021 Jul
Publication categoryResearch

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Related projects

Cristian Ducoing, José Peres-Cajías, Sara Torregrosa Hetland, Ann-Kristin Berquist, Kristin Ranestad, Carlos Contreras & Marc Badia-Miró

Swedish Research Council


Project: ResearchInternational collaboration

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Related activities

Ducoing, C. (Presenter)
2019 Oct 102019 Oct 12

Activity: Participating in or organising an eventParticipation in conference

Ducoing, C. (Presenter)
2018 May 232018 May 26

Activity: Participating in or organising an eventParticipation in conference

Ducoing, C. (Organiser)
2018 Jan 152018 Jan 16

Activity: Participating in or organising an eventOrganisation of conference

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