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Unbalanced Trade

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Listed:
  • Jonathan Eaton
  • Robert Dekle
  • Samuel Kortum

Abstract

We incorporate trade imbalances into a quantitative model of bilateral trade in manufactures, dividing the world into forty "countries." We calculate the pattern of bilateral trade and relative factor costs in a counterfactual world with all current accounts balancing. Our results indicate that closing the current accounts requires only modest changes in relative factor costs across countries. The extent of nontradability implied by the parameter estimates means that the implied changes in real factor returns are negligible. The geographic barriers implied by the current pattern of trade are sufficiently asymmetric that large bilateral deficits remain even after current accounts balance. The U.S. manufacturing trade deficit with China falls to only $65 billion from its current level of $167 billion.
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Suggested Citation

  • Jonathan Eaton & Robert Dekle & Samuel Kortum, 2007. "Unbalanced Trade," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 97(2), pages 351-355, May.
  • Handle: RePEc:aea:aecrev:v:97:y:2007:i:2:p:351-355
    Note: DOI: 10.1257/aer.97.2.351
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    File URL: http://www.aeaweb.org/articles.php?doi=10.1257/aer.97.2.351
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • F17 - International Economics - - Trade - - - Trade Forecasting and Simulation
    • F32 - International Economics - - International Finance - - - Current Account Adjustment; Short-term Capital Movements
    • F41 - International Economics - - Macroeconomic Aspects of International Trade and Finance - - - Open Economy Macroeconomics

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