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Trade Wedges, Inventories, and International Business Cycles

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  • George Alessandria
  • Joseph Kaboski
  • Virgiliu Midrigan

Abstract

The large, persistent fluctuations in international trade that can not be explained in standard models by changes in expenditures and relative prices are often attributed to trade wedges. We show that these trade wedges can reflect the decisions of importers to change their inventory holdings. We find that a two-country model of international business cycles with an inventory management decision can generate trade flows and wedges consistent with the data. Moreover, matching trade flows alters the international transmission of business cycles. Specifically, real net exports become countercyclical and consumption is less correlated across countries than in standard models. We also show that ignoring inventories as a source of trade wedges substantially overstates the role of trade wedges in business cycle fluctuations.

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Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 18191.

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Date of creation: Jun 2012
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Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:18191

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References

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  1. Alessandria, George & Kaboski, Joseph & Midrigan, Virgiliu, 2013. "Trade wedges, inventories, and international business cycles," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 60(1), pages 1-20.
  2. Charles Engel & Jian Wang, 2008. "International Trade in Durable Goods: Understanding Volatility, Cyclicality, and Elasticities," NBER Working Papers 13814, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. Alan C. Stockman & Linda L. Tesar, 1991. "Tastes and technology in a two-country model of the business cycle: explaining international co-movements," Working Paper 9019, Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland.
  4. Jonathan Eaton & Sam Kortum & Brent Neiman & John Romalis, 2010. "Trade and the global recession," Working Paper Research 196, National Bank of Belgium.
  5. Ghironi, Fabio & Melitz, Marc, 2005. "International Trade and Macroeconomic Dynamics with Heterogeneous Firms," Scholarly Articles 3228377, Harvard University Department of Economics.
  6. Baxter, Marianne & Crucini, Mario J, 1995. "Business Cycles and the Asset Structure of Foreign Trade," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 36(4), pages 821-54, November.
  7. Khan, Aubhik & Thomas, Julia K., 2007. "EXPLAINING INVENTORIES: A BUSINESS CYCLE ASSESSMENT OF THE STOCKOUT AVOIDANCE AND (S,s) MOTIVES," Macroeconomic Dynamics, Cambridge University Press, vol. 11(05), pages 638-664, November.
  8. George Alessandria & Joseph P. Kaboski & Virgiliu Midrigan, 2011. "U.S. trade and inventory dynamics," Working Papers 11-6, Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia.
  9. George Alessandria & Horag Choi, 2005. "Do sunk costs of exporting matter for net export dynamics?," Working Papers 05-20, Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia.
  10. Aubhik Khan & Julia Thomas, 2003. "Inventories and the Business Cycle: An Equilibrium Analysis of (S,s) Policies," NBER Working Papers 10078, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  11. David K. Backus & Patrick J. Kehoe & Finn E. Kydland, 1987. "International real business cycles," Working Papers 426, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis.
  12. Tryphon E. Kollintzas & Steven L Husted, 1983. "Distributed Lags and Intermediate Good Imports," Discussion Papers 552, Northwestern University, Center for Mathematical Studies in Economics and Management Science.
  13. David K. Backus & Patrick J. Kehoe & Finn E. Kydland, 1992. "Dynamics of the trade balance and the terms of trade: the S-curve," Working Paper 9211, Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland.
  14. George Alessandria & Joseph Kaboski & Virgiliu Midrigan, 2008. "Inventories, lumpy trade, and large devaluations," Working Paper Series 2008-24, Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco.
  15. Raffo, Andrea, 2008. "Net exports, consumption volatility and international business cycle models," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 75(1), pages 14-29, May.
  16. V.V. Chari & Patrick J. Kehoe & Ellen R. McGrattan, 2000. "Can Sticky Price Models Generate Volatile and Persistent Real Exchange Rates?," NBER Working Papers 7869, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  17. George Alessandria & Joseph P. Kaboski & Virgiliu Midrigan, 2010. "The great trade collapse of 2008-2009: an inventory adjustment?," Working Papers 10-18, Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia.
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  1. Trade Wedges, Inventories, and International Business Cycles
    by Christian Zimmermann in NEP-DGE blog on 2012-07-10 14:10:47
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Cited by:
  1. George Alessandria & Joseph Kaboski & Virgiliu Midrigan, 2012. "Trade Wedges, Inventories, and International Business Cycles," NBER Working Papers 18191, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Rudolfs Bems & Robert C. Johnson & Kei-Mu Yi, 2013. "The Great Trade Collapse," Annual Review of Economics, Annual Reviews, vol. 5(1), pages 375-400, 05.
  3. Alberto Cavallo & Brent Neiman & Roberto Rigobon, 2012. "Currency Unions, Product Introductions, and the Real Exchange Rate," NBER Working Papers 18563, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.

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