Afterword: Commodity prices and third world poverty

  • Cheryl Payer


Primary commodities present a special problem in international political economy for two reasons. First, their production and export is generally ascribed to and identified with the former colonial areas of the world characterised by extreme poverty for the majority (not all) of their citizens. Second, the relationships of supply, demand and price for many of these commodities show several peculiarities which are not adequately accounted for either in classical ‘invisible hand’ theory or in the rationalised planning of large corporations. Several attempts have been made to link the two problems together in one theory, in an effort to show how the poverty of Third World peoples can be accounted for by either the violence of commodity price fluctuations or a long-range tendency for the terms of trade of commodity prices to decline in relation to the prices for manufactured goods.


Commodity Price Subsistence Agriculture Price Fluctuation Export Earning Commodity Trade 
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© Cheryl Payer 1975

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  • Cheryl Payer

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