Distribution Costs and International Business Cycles
AbstractBackus, Kehoe, and Kydland (International Real Business Cycles, JPE, 100(4),1992) documented several discrepancies between the observed post-war business cycles of developed countries and the predictions of a two-country, complete-market model. The main discrepancy termed as the â€œquantity anomalyâ€ that cross-country consumption correlations are higher than that of output in the model as opposed to data, has remained a central puzzle in international economics. In order to resolve this puzzle mainly two strategies: restrictions on asset trade, and introducing non-traded goods in the model, have been employed by researchers. While these extensions have been successful in closing the gap to some extent, the ordering of correlations has stayed unchanged: consumption correlations still exceed that of output. This paper attempts to resolve the quantity puzzle by introducing non-traded distribution costs in the retailing of traded goods. In a standard two-good model traded output and traded consumption, by definition, are identical goods. With distribution costs, traded output and consumption are two distinct entities as each unit of final traded consumption good incorporates a unit of traded good and a fixed amount of non-traded goods. Thus, effectively, the model with distribution costs can be viewed as a model without distribution costs but with a modified utility function that has a substantially stronger complementarity between traded and non-traded goods. In a simple two-good extension of the Backus, Kehoe, and Kydland model, it is shown that the cross-country consumption and output correlations are 0.55 and 0.30, respectively, whereas with distribution costs consumption correlation reduces to 0.09, output correlation to 0.23. Incorporating distribution costs, in addition, improves the modelâ€™s performance in matching the volatility of real exchange rates and the correlation of net exports with output. These improvements are achieved without sacrificing the model's performance in any other dimension.
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Bibliographic InfoPaper provided by Society for Economic Dynamics in its series 2006 Meeting Papers with number 808.
Date of creation: 03 Dec 2006
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Postal: Society for Economic Dynamics Christian Zimmermann Economic Research Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis PO Box 442 St. Louis MO 63166-0442 USA
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More information through EDIRC
open economy business cycles; quantity puzzle; distribution costs;
Find related papers by JEL classification:
- F32 - International Economics - - International Finance - - - Current Account Adjustment; Short-term Capital Movements
- F34 - International Economics - - International Finance - - - International Lending and Debt Problems
- F41 - International Economics - - Macroeconomic Aspects of International Trade and Finance - - - Open Economy Macroeconomics
This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:
- NEP-ALL-2007-01-13 (All new papers)
- NEP-DGE-2007-01-13 (Dynamic General Equilibrium)
- NEP-MAC-2007-01-13 (Macroeconomics)
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