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Productivity, the Terms of Trade, and the Real Exchange Rate: The Balassa-Samuelson Hypothesis Revisited

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  • Ehsan U. Choudhri
  • Lawrence L. Schembri

Abstract

The paper examines how the Balassa-Samuelson hypothesis is affected by a modern variation of the standard model that allows product differentiation (within the traded and nontraded goods sectors) with the number of firms determined exogenously or endogenously. The hypothesis is found to be fragile in the modified framework. Small variations in the elasticity of substitution between home and foreign traded goods (within the range of estimates suggested in the literature), for example, can make the effect of a traded-goods productivity improvement on the real exchange rate negative or positive, as well as small or large. This result provides a potential explanation of the mixed empirical results that have been obtained on the relationship between productivity and the real exchange rate.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Bank of Canada in its series Working Papers with number 09-22.

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Length: 31 pages
Date of creation: 2009
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:bca:bocawp:09-22

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Keywords: Exchange rates; Productivity;

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  1. Hertel, Thomas & Hummels, David & Ivanic, Maros & Keeney, Roman, 2007. "How confident can we be of CGE-based assessments of Free Trade Agreements?," Economic Modelling, Elsevier, vol. 24(4), pages 611-635, July.
  2. Giancarlo Corsetti & Luca Dedola & Sylvain Leduc, 2008. "Productivity, External Balance, and Exchange Rates: Evidence on the Transmission Mechanism among G7 Countries," NBER Chapters, in: NBER International Seminar on Macroeconomics 2006, pages 117-194 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. Engel, C., 1996. "Accounting for U.S. Real Exchange Rate Changes," Discussion Papers in Economics at the University of Washington 96-02, Department of Economics at the University of Washington.
  4. Alan M. Taylor & Paul Bergin & Reuven Glick, 2005. "Productivity, Tradability, and the Long-Run Price Puzzle," Working Papers 511, University of California, Davis, Department of Economics.
  5. Luca Antonio Ricci & Jaewoo Lee & Gian-Maria Milesi-Ferretti, 2008. "Real Exchange Rates and Fundamentals," IMF Working Papers 08/13, International Monetary Fund.
  6. Bela Balassa, 1964. "The Purchasing-Power Parity Doctrine: A Reappraisal," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 72, pages 584.
  7. Giancarlo Corsetti & Philippe Martin & Paolo Pesenti, 2008. "Varieties and the Transfer Problem: The Extensive Margin of Current Account Adjustment," RSCAS Working Papers 2008/01, European University Institute.
  8. Fabio Ghironi & Marc J. Melitz, 2004. "International Trade and Macroeconomic Dynamics with Heterogeneous Firms," NBER Working Papers 10540, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  9. Paul R. Bergin, 2004. "How Well Can the New Open Economy Macroeconomics Explain the Exchange Rate and Current Account?," NBER Working Papers 10356, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  10. Corsetti, Giancarlo & Martin, Philippe & Pesenti, Paolo, 2007. "Productivity, terms of trade and the `home market effect'," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 73(1), pages 99-127, September.
  11. Giancarlo Corsetti & Luca Dedola & Sylvain Leduc, 2003. "International risk-sharing and the transmission of productivity shocks," Working Papers 03-19, Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia.
  12. Mohsin S. Khan & Ehsan U. Choudhri, 2004. "Real Exchange Rates in Developing Countries," IMF Working Papers 04/188, International Monetary Fund.
  13. Canzoneri, Matthew B. & Cumby, Robert E. & Diba, Behzad, 1999. "Relative labor productivity and the real exchange rate in the long run: evidence for a panel of OECD countries," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 47(2), pages 245-266, April.
  14. Gianluca Benigno & Christoph Thoenissen, 2002. "Equilibrium exchange rates and supply-side performance," Bank of England working papers 156, Bank of England.
  15. Kenneth Rogoff, 1996. "The Purchasing Power Parity Puzzle," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 34(2), pages 647-668, June.
  16. Thomas Lubik & Frank Schorfheide, 2005. "A Bayesian Look at New Open Economy Macroeconomics," Economics Working Paper Archive 521, The Johns Hopkins University,Department of Economics.
  17. Ehsan U. Choudhri & Mohsin S. Khan, 2005. "Real Exchange Rates in Developing Countries: Are Balassa-Samuelson Effects Present?," IMF Staff Papers, Palgrave Macmillan, vol. 52(3), pages 2.
  18. Krugman, Paul, 1980. "Scale Economies, Product Differentiation, and the Pattern of Trade," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 70(5), pages 950-59, December.
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