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Current Account Dynamics and the Terms of Trade: Harberger-Laursen-Metzler Two Generations Later

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  • Torsten Persson
  • Lars E.O. Svensson

Abstract

The current account dynamics is examined for a small open economy which is subject to exogenous changes in its static terms of trade and in world interest rates. The model used is one with overlapping finite-lived generations, which we argue gives rise to a more reasonable saving behaviour than previously used models with infinite lived consumers.In particular no restrictions on the rate of time preference is required.Anticipated and unanticipated, as well as temporary and permanent,terms of trade changes have very different effects. There is, however,a general tendency towards cycles in both savings and investment,which gives rise to cycles in the current account.The classic Harberger-Laursen-Metzler effect on saving of a terms of trade deterioration can have any sign for plausible parameter values,both for temporary and permanent disturbances.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 1129.

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Date of creation: May 1983
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Publication status: published as Persson, Torsten and Lars E.O. Svensson. "Current Account Dynamics and the Terms of Trade: Harberger-Laursen-Metzler Two Generations Later," Journal of Political Economy, Vol. 93, 1985, pp. 43-65.
Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:1129

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  1. Razin, Assaf, 1984. "Capital movements, intersectoral resource shifts and the trade balance," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 26(1-2), pages 135-152.
  2. Willem H. Buiter, 1979. "Time Preference and International Lending and Borrowing in an Overlapping-Generations Model," NBER Working Papers 0352, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. Lars E.O. Svensson, 1982. "Oil Prices, Welfare and the Trade Balance: An Intertemporal Approach," NBER Working Papers 0991, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  4. 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.
  5. Rudiger Dornbusch, 1981. "Intergenerational and International Trade," NBER Working Papers 0792, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  6. Maurice Obstfeld, 1982. "Transitory Terms-of-Trade Shocks and the Current Account: The Case of Constant Time Preference," NBER Working Papers 0834, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  7. Torsten Persson, 1983. "Deficits and Intergenerational Welfare in Open Economies," NBER Working Papers 1083, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  8. Svensson, Lars E O & Razin, Assaf, 1983. "The Terms of Trade and the Current Account: The Harberger-Laursen-Metzler Effect," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 91(1), pages 97-125, February.
  9. Joel Fried, 1980. "The Intergenerational Distribution of the Gains from Technical Change and from International Trade," Canadian Journal of Economics, Canadian Economics Association, vol. 13(1), pages 65-81, February.
  10. Helpman, Elhanan & Razin, Assaf, 1984. "The role of saving and investment in exchange rate determination under alternative monetary mechanisms," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 13(3), pages 307-325, May.
  11. Kareken, John & Wallace, Neil, 1977. "Portfolio autarky: A welfare analysis," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 7(1), pages 19-43, February.
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