Scandinavian Working Papers in Economics

Discussion Paper Series in Economics,
Norwegian School of Economics, Department of Economics

No 12/2013: Integration in the English wheat market 1770-1820.

Liam Brunt () and Edmund Cannon ()
Additional contact information
Liam Brunt: Dept. of Economics, Norwegian School of Economics and Business Administration, Postal: NHH , Department of Economics, Helleveien 30, N-5045 Bergen, Norway
Edmund Cannon: University of Bristol, Postal: University of Bristol, Bristol, UK

Abstract: Cointegration analysis has been used widely to quantify market integration through price arbitrage. We show that total price variability can be decomposed into: (i) magnitude of price shocks; (ii) correlation of price shocks; (iii) betweenperiod arbitrage. All three measures depend upon data frequency, but betweenperiod arbitrage is most affected. We measure variation of these components across time and space using English weekly wheat price data, 1770-1820. We show that conclusions about arbitrage are sensitive to the precise form of cointegration model used; different components behave differently; and different factors – in terms of transport and information – explain behaviour of different components. Previous analyses should be interpreted with caution.

Keywords: Domestic trade; economic integration; grain markets; transport; England and Wales; time-series cointegration.

JEL-codes: N73; Q11; R41

62 pages, June 14, 2013

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