Discussion paper

DP9504 Integration in the English wheat market 1770-1820

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) between-period arbitrage. All three measures depend upon data frequency, but between-period 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.


Cannon, E and L Brunt (2013), ‘DP9504 Integration in the English wheat market 1770-1820‘, CEPR Discussion Paper No. 9504. CEPR Press, Paris & London. https://cepr.org/publications/dp9504