AuthorShelnutt, John Paul.
KeywordsCopper industry and trade -- Chile -- Econometric models
Copper industry and trade -- United States -- Econometric models
Copper -- Prices -- Econometric models.
AdvisorNewcomb, Richard T.
Committee ChairNewcomb, Richard T.
MetadataShow full item record
PublisherThe University of Arizona.
RightsCopyright © is held by the author. Digital access to this material is made possible by the University Libraries, University of Arizona. Further transmission, reproduction or presentation (such as public display or performance) of protected items is prohibited except with permission of the author.
AbstractThe competitive outlook for the U.S. copper industry was seriously questioned in the mid-1980's in light of differential wages, reserve bases, environmental enforcement, and comparable rates of technical dissemination among country producers. These concerns coincided with the displacement of U.S. output by Chilean expansion and ascendancy of the latter to the number one ranking of world producers. Explanations for U.S. competitive decline ranged from the availability of international agency credit lines for competing state-run copper producers to labor-management relations in the U.S. This dissertation examines the timing of Chilean emergence and U.S. response in relation to flexible exchange rates and monetary policy regimes of the 1980's. Previous analyses of world and North American market structure and change focused on market imperfections on the supply side or supply and stock influences in major demand centers. Earlier speculations about Chilean expansion have proved correct, but U.S. capacity displacement appears to be limited. This dissertation examines the effectiveness of earlier models when updated to the 1980's, redefines structure to achieve better fits, and tests the new model with simulations of quantity and price. World monetary policy, debt, and developing country trade policies have changed dramatically since the late 1970's. These changes together with earlier nationalization initiatives have injected significant new questions of commodity price translation and traded versus nontraded goods substitution into analyses of market behavior. The analysis developed and described in this research shows that real exchange rates of specified copper-producing countries are a significant factor in output expansion and market share gains under conditions of stable labor agreements and monetary policy. These components serve to explain how producer share gains such as for Chile were achieved during cyclical low price periods and historically high refined consumer stock conditions. Additional explanatory power is given for U.S. import and export activity in refined copper. Qualifications are given for selected producing countries that are experiencing continued output decline in the wake of Chilean-U.S. competition. The simulation results show an improvement in forecasting ability over previous models for selected country mine production, including Chile, and import-export activity for the U.S. Comparable high quality results are generated for copper price using standard model configuration. Significant errors remain, as in the overestimation of U.S. mine production recovery due to the lack of better measures of production and investment cycles in the primary copper industry. Downsizing of new or rebuilt U.S. capacity through technical shift is also not captured.
Degree ProgramMining and Geological Engineering