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The Harberger-Laursen-Metzler Effect Revisited: An Indirect-Utility-Function Approach

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  • Roberto Duncan

Abstract

To study the effect of a terms-of-trade shock on the current account, Ostry and Reinhart (1992) and Cashin and McDermott (1998) estimate the intertemporal and intratemporal elasticities of substitution, for a set of countries, constructing importable and non-tradable consumption series. Unfortunately,these series are not available for most developing countries. This paper presents a dynamic stochastic framework, similar to Ostry and Reinhart’s, that maximizes a representative agent’s indirect utility function. The Euler conditions derived from the optimization problem do not depend on variables such as tradable and non-tradable consumption, avoiding the need for constructing them and adopting strong assumptions. Using GMM and Chilean quarterly data for the 1986-2002 period, I conclude that moderately low intertemporal and intratemporal substitution effects exist. The first estimated elasticity lies in the range of 0.46 to 0.56 and the latter is around 1.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Central Bank of Chile in its series Working Papers Central Bank of Chile with number 250.

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Date of creation: Dec 2003
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Handle: RePEc:chb:bcchwp:250

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  1. Donald W.K. Andrews, 1988. "Heteroskedasticity and Autocorrelation Consistent Covariance Matrix Estimation," Cowles Foundation Discussion Papers 877R, Cowles Foundation for Research in Economics, Yale University, revised Jul 1989.
  2. Obstfeld, Maurice, 1982. "Aggregate Spending and the Terms of Trade: Is There a Laursen-Metzler Effect?," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 97(2), pages 251-70, May.
  3. Robert E. Hall, 1988. "Intertemporal Substitution in Consumption," NBER Working Papers 0720, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  4. Kareken, John & Wallace, Neil, 1977. "Portfolio autarky: A welfare analysis," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 7(1), pages 19-43, February.
  5. Masao Ogaki & Carmen M. Reinhart, 1998. "Measuring Intertemporal Substitution: The Role of Durable Goods," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 106(5), pages 1078-1098, October.
  6. Turnovsky, S. & Sen, P., 1988. "Deterioration Of The Term Of Trade And Capital Eccumulation A Reexamination Of The Laursen-Metzler Effect," Discussion Papers in Economics at the University of Washington 88-08, Department of Economics at the University of Washington.
  7. Sebastian Edwards, 1987. "Tariffs, Terms or Trade, and The Real Exchange Rate in and Intertemporal Optimizing Model of the Current Account," UCLA Economics Working Papers 429, UCLA Department of Economics.
  8. Gavin, Michael, 1990. "Structural adjustment to a terms of trade disturbance : The role of relative prices," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 28(3-4), pages 217-243, May.
  9. Matsuyama, Kiminori, 1988. "Terms-of-Trade, Factor Intensities and the Current Account in a Life-Cycle Model," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 55(2), pages 247-62, April.
  10. Torsten Persson & Lars E.O. Svensson, 1983. "Current Account Dynamics and the Terms of Trade: Harberger-Laursen-Metzler Two Generations Later," NBER Working Papers 1129, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  11. Jonathan D. Ostry, 1988. "The Balance of Trade, Terms of Trade, and Real Exchange Rate: An Intertemporal Optimizing Framework," IMF Staff Papers, Palgrave Macmillan, vol. 35(4), pages 541-573, December.
  12. Sen, Partha & Turnovsky, Stephen J., 1989. "Deterioration of the terms of trade and capital accumulation: A re-examination of the Laursen-Metzler effect," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 26(3-4), pages 227-250, May.
  13. Serven, Luis, 1995. "Capital goods imports, the real exchange rate and the current account," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 39(1-2), pages 79-101, August.
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Cited by:
  1. Piotr Misztal, 2010. "The Harberger-Laursen-Metzler Effect. Theory and Practice in Poland," Romanian Economic Journal, Department of International Business and Economics from the Academy of Economic Studies Bucharest, vol. 13(38), pages 129-146, December.

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