Advanced Search
MyIDEAS: Login

The Puzzling Income Elasticity of US Imports

Contents:

Author Info

  • Jaime Marquez

    (Federal Reserve Board)

Registered author(s):

    Abstract

    Existing estimates of the income elasticity suggest that, in the absence of price increases, US imports will eventually exceed US income. That the United States will change from being a largely self-sufficient economy to one that cannot cover its imports has received a great deal of attention in developing models for imports: allowance for simultaneity in the import market, recognition of dynamic adjustments and optimization, disaggregation of imports across product and countries, removal of measurement errors in official data, and differentiation between cyclical and secular forces. I show that previous methods to resolve the puzzle, though insightful, are not successful: three decades of methodological improvements in modeling and estimation yield estimated income elasticities for imports much greater than one. I resolve this puzzling estimate by removing the representative-agent assumption and addressing the substitution bias embodied in official import prices stemming from their exclusion of new products. I follow Feenstra to address the substitution bias induced by the omission of new-products' prices. To remove the representative-agent assumption, I start with an individual's demand for imports depending on income and relative prices. Then, consistent aggregation of the micro relations yields a macro equation with income, relative prices, and the variances of the distributions of imports, income, and relative prices. These variances embody individuals' heterogeneity which I model using the share of foreign-born individuals in the United States. For parameter estimation, I use the cointegration method of Johansen (1988). Recognizing either the substitution biases in import prices or the heterogeneity induced by immigration point to unitary income elasticities. Excluding these factors and using the conventional model yields estimated income elasticities much greater than one.

    Download Info

    If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.
    File URL: http://fmwww.bc.edu/RePEc/es2000/1128.pdf
    File Function: main text
    Download Restriction: no

    Bibliographic Info

    Paper provided by Econometric Society in its series Econometric Society World Congress 2000 Contributed Papers with number 1128.

    as in new window
    Length:
    Date of creation: 01 Aug 2000
    Date of revision:
    Handle: RePEc:ecm:wc2000:1128

    Contact details of provider:
    Phone: 1 212 998 3820
    Fax: 1 212 995 4487
    Email:
    Web page: http://www.econometricsociety.org/pastmeetings.asp
    More information through EDIRC

    Related research

    Keywords:

    References

    References listed on IDEAS
    Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
    as in new window
    1. Abdelhak Senhadji, 1998. "Time-Series Estimation of Structural Import Demand Equations: A Cross-Country Analysis," IMF Staff Papers, Palgrave Macmillan, vol. 45(2), pages 236-268, June.
    2. Gould, David M, 1994. "Immigrant Links to the Home Country: Empirical Implications for U.S. Bilateral Trade Flows," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 76(2), pages 302-16, May.
    3. Andrew Levin & John Rogers & Ralph Tryon, 1997. "Evaluating international economic policy with the Federal Reserve's global model," Federal Reserve Bulletin, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.), issue Oct, pages 797-817.
    4. Johansen, Soren, 1988. "Statistical analysis of cointegration vectors," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 12(2-3), pages 231-254.
    5. Sawyer, W. Charles & Sprinkle, Richard L., 1997. "The Demand for Imports and Exports in Japan: A Survey," Journal of the Japanese and International Economies, Elsevier, vol. 11(2), pages 247-259, June.
    6. Borjas, G.J. & Freeman, R.B. & Katz, L.F., 1991. "On The Labor Market Effects Of Immigration And Trade," Harvard Institute of Economic Research Working Papers 1556, Harvard - Institute of Economic Research.
    7. Lau, Lawrence J., 1986. "Functional forms in econometric model building," Handbook of Econometrics, in: Z. Griliches† & M. D. Intriligator (ed.), Handbook of Econometrics, edition 1, volume 3, chapter 26, pages 1515-1566 Elsevier.
    8. Keith Head & John Ries, 1998. "Immigration and Trade Creation: Econometric Evidence from Canada," Canadian Journal of Economics, Canadian Economics Association, vol. 31(1), pages 47-62, February.
    9. Houthakker, Hendrik S & Magee, Stephen P, 1969. "Income and Price Elasticities in World Trade," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 51(2), pages 111-25, May.
    10. Haynes, Stephen E & Stone, Joe A, 1983. "Secular and Cyclical Responses of U.S. Trade to Income: An Evaluation of Traditional Models," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 65(1), pages 87-95, February.
    11. Robert J. Barro & Paul Romer, 1993. "Economic Growth," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number barr93-1.
      • Robert J. Barro & Paul M. Romer, 1991. "Economic Growth," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number barr91-1.
    12. Joseph E. Gagnon, 1989. "A forward-looking multicountry model: MX3," International Finance Discussion Papers 359, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
    13. Ulrich R. Kohli, 1978. "A Gross National Product Function and the Derived Demand for Imports and Supply of Exports," Canadian Journal of Economics, Canadian Economics Association, vol. 11(2), pages 167-82, May.
    14. Goldstein, Morris & Khan, Mohsin S., 1985. "Income and price effects in foreign trade," Handbook of International Economics, in: R. W. Jones & P. B. Kenen (ed.), Handbook of International Economics, edition 1, volume 2, chapter 20, pages 1041-1105 Elsevier.
    15. Khan, Mohsin S & Ross, Knud Z, 1975. "Cyclical and Secular Income Elasticities of the Demand for Imports," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 57(3), pages 357-61, August.
    16. Johansen, Soren & Juselius, Katarina, 1990. "Maximum Likelihood Estimation and Inference on Cointegration--With Applications to the Demand for Money," Oxford Bulletin of Economics and Statistics, Department of Economics, University of Oxford, vol. 52(2), pages 169-210, May.
    17. Burgess, David F., 1974. "Production theory and the derived demand for imports," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 4(2), pages 103-117, May.
    18. Flint Brayton & Eileen Mauskopf & David Reifschneider & Peter Tinsley & John Williams, 1997. "The role of expectations in the FRB/US macroeconomic model," Federal Reserve Bulletin, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.), issue Apr, pages 227-245.
    19. Zietz, Joachim & Pemberton, Donald K., 1993. "Parameter instability in aggregate US import demand functions," Journal of International Money and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 12(6), pages 654-667, December.
    20. Marquez, Jaime, 1999. "Long-Period Trade Elasticities for Canada, Japan, and the United States," Review of International Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 7(1), pages 102-16, February.
    21. Jaime Marquez, 1995. "A century of trade elasticities for Canada, Japan, and the United States," International Finance Discussion Papers 531, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
    22. Stern, Robert M & Baum, Christopher F & Greene, Mark N, 1979. "Evidence on Structural Change in the Demand for Aggregate U.S. Imports and Exports," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 87(1), pages 179-92, February.
    23. Murray, Tracy & Ginman, Peter J, 1976. "An Empirical Examination of the Traditional Aggregate Import Demand Model," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 58(1), pages 75-80, February.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Citations

    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.
    as in new window

    Cited by:
    1. Jim Malley & Thomas Moutos, 2004. "Do excessive wage increases raise imports? Theory and evidence," Macroeconomics 0401003, EconWPA.
    2. Katsimi, Margarita & Moutos, Thomas, 2011. "Inequality and the US import demand function," Journal of International Money and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 30(3), pages 492-506, April.

    Lists

    This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

    Statistics

    Access and download statistics

    Corrections

    When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:ecm:wc2000:1128. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Christopher F. Baum).

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

    If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.