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This paper extends the recent literature on the Prebisch - Singer hypothesis of a long-run decline in the relative prices of primary commodities. The main innovation is testing for and estimating nonlinear alternatives to a secular deterioration. Specifically, one use bootstrap procedures to test the linear unit root model against models belonging to the family of smooth transition autoregressions (STARs) for 24 commodities, 1900 - 2003. In 18 cases one rejects the linear null at usual significance levels. In 16 cases one is able to successfully fit STAR-type models. Simulation results show there is little support for the Prebisch - Singer hypothesis.
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