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Trade, gravity, and sudden stops: on how commercial trade can increase the stability of capital flows

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  • Eduardo A. Cavallo

Abstract

The author uses gravity estimates as instrumental variables for trade to test the proposition that countries that trade less with the rest of the world are more vulnerable to sudden stops in capital flows. The author finds that, all else equal, a 10 percentage point increase in the trade-to-gross domestic product (GDP) ratio reduces the probability of a sudden stop by approximately 32 percent. ; The estimation is motivated by a model that introduces balance sheet effects to a standard small open economy. In the model, the probability of sudden stops is directly related to the temptation of the borrowers to default in the aftermath of real depreciations. Countries that trade less with the rest of the world are more vulnerable to large real depreciations and, consequently, are always more tempted to default and are more prone to sudden stops ; The policy implications of the results presented here are unambiguous: Trade protectionism does not shield countries from external shocks to their capital accounts. On the contrary, anything that increases the tradable component of a country’s GDP will, ceteris paribus, reduce the vulnerability of that country to sudden stops in capital flows. Without large quantities of trade, capital account openness that leads to indebtedness in foreign currencies is risky and should probably be avoided.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta in its series Working Paper with number 2005-23.

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Date of creation: 2005
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Handle: RePEc:fip:fedawp:2005-23

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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Aizenman, Joshua & Chinn, Menzie D. & Ito, Hiro, 2010. "The emerging global financial architecture: Tracing and evaluating new patterns of the trilemma configuration," Journal of International Money and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 29(4), pages 615-641, June.
  2. Frankel, Jeffrey & Cavallo, Eduardo, 2004. "Does Openness to Trade Make Countries More Vulnerable to Sudden Stops, or Less? Using Gravity to Establish Causality," Working Paper Series rwp04-038, Harvard University, John F. Kennedy School of Government.
  3. Eduardo A. Cavallo & Andrés Velasco, 2006. "Quid pro Quo: National Institutions and Sudden Stops in International Capital Movements," Research Department Publications 4490, Inter-American Development Bank, Research Department.
  4. Aizenman, Joshua & Chinn, Menzie David & Ito, Hiro, 2009. "Assessing the Emerging Global Financial Architecture: Measuring the Trilemma's Configurations over Time," Santa Cruz Department of Economics, Working Paper Series qt840728sc, Department of Economics, UC Santa Cruz.
  5. Jeffrey A. Frankel, 2005. "Contractionary Currency Crashes in Developing Countries," NBER Working Papers 11508, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  6. Hanson, Gordon H. & Xiang, Chong, 2013. "Exporting Christianity: Governance and doctrine in the globalization of US denominations," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 91(2), pages 301-320.
  7. Gordon H. Hanson & Craig McIntosh, 2010. "Birth Rates and Border Crossings: Latin American Migration to the US, Canada, Spain, and the UK," NBER Working Papers 16471, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  8. Joshua Aizenman & Menzie D. Chinna & Hiro Ito, 2010. "The Financial Crisis, Rethinking of the Global Financial Architecture, and the Trilemma," Working Papers id:3138, eSocialSciences.
  9. Eduardo A. Cavallo, 2007. "Output Volatility and Openness to Trade: A Reassessment," Research Department Publications 4518, Inter-American Development Bank, Research Department.
  10. Aysun, Uluc & Honig, Adam, 2011. "Bankruptcy costs, liability dollarization, and vulnerability to sudden stops," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 95(2), pages 201-211, July.
  11. EDWARDS, Jeffrey, 2009. "Trading Partner Volatility And The Ability For A Country To Cope: A Panel Gmm Model, 1970-2005," Applied Econometrics and International Development, Euro-American Association of Economic Development, vol. 9(2).

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