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The Economics of Chocolate$
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Mara P. Squicciarini and Johan Swinnen

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9780198726449

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: March 2016

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198726449.001.0001

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The Dynamics of the World Cocoa Price

The Dynamics of the World Cocoa Price

(p.307) 16 The Dynamics of the World Cocoa Price
The Economics of Chocolate

Christopher L. Gilbert

Oxford University Press

This chapter constructs a data series on real cocoa prices extending back to 1850, and uses this series to model cocoa price dynamics. Cocoa prices are characterized by long (approximately 25-year) cycles, which arise out of the combination of the long productive life (more than 40 years) of cocoa trees and the lack of mean or trend reversion in cocoa consumption. Although harvest shocks are the main factor contributing to year-to-year price volatility, shifts in the taste for chocolate and other cocoa products are more important in explaining long-term price movements. A forecasting exercise indicates that sustainable cocoa production will very probably involve higher prices than those observed over the recent past.

Keywords:   cocoa prices, cocoa price dynamics, cocoa tress, cocoa consumption, shifts in taste, forecasting, cocoa cycles

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