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Putting the Parts Together: Trade, Vertical Linkages, and Business Cycle Comovement

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  • Julian di Giovanni
  • Andrei A. Levchenko

Abstract

Countries that trade more with each other exhibit higher business cycle correlation. This paper examines the mechanisms underlying this relationship using a large cross-country, industry-level panel dataset of manufacturing production and trade. We show that sector pairs that experience more bilateral trade exhibit stronger comovement. Vertical linkages in production are an important explanation behind this effect: bilateral international trade increases comovement significantly more in cross-border industry pairs that use each other as intermediate inputs. Our estimates imply that these vertical production linkages account for some 30 percent of the total impact of bilateral trade on the business cycle correlation. (JEL E32, F14, F43)

Suggested Citation

  • Julian di Giovanni & Andrei A. Levchenko, 2010. "Putting the Parts Together: Trade, Vertical Linkages, and Business Cycle Comovement," American Economic Journal: Macroeconomics, American Economic Association, vol. 2(2), pages 95-124, April.
  • Handle: RePEc:aea:aejmac:v:2:y:2010:i:2:p:95-124
    Note: DOI: 10.1257/mac.2.2.95
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Vasco Carvalho, 2007. "Aggregate fluctuations and the network structure of intersectoral trade," Economics Working Papers 1206, Department of Economics and Business, Universitat Pompeu Fabra, revised Oct 2010.
    2. Huang, Kevin X.D. & Liu, Zheng, 2007. "Business cycles with staggered prices and international trade in intermediate inputs," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 54(4), pages 1271-1289, May.
    3. Calderon, Cesar & Chong, Alberto & Stein, Ernesto, 2007. "Trade intensity and business cycle synchronization: Are developing countries any different?," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 71(1), pages 2-21, March.
    4. Costas Arkolakis & Ananth Ramanarayanan, 2009. "Vertical Specialization and International Business Cycle Synchronization," Scandinavian Journal of Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 111(4), pages 655-680, December.
    5. Kei-Mu Yi, 2003. "Can Vertical Specialization Explain the Growth of World Trade?," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 111(1), pages 52-102, February.
    6. Robert C. Feenstra & Robert E. Lipsey & Haiyan Deng & Alyson C. Ma & Hengyong Mo, 2005. "World Trade Flows: 1962-2000," NBER Working Papers 11040, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    7. Michael Kremer, 1993. "The O-Ring Theory of Economic Development," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 108(3), pages 551-575.
    8. Horvath, Michael, 2000. "Sectoral shocks and aggregate fluctuations," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 45(1), pages 69-106, February.
    9. Ananth Ramanarayanan, 2009. "Ties that bind: bilateral trade's role in synchronizing business cycles," Economic Letter, Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas, vol. 4(jan).
    10. M. Ayhan Kose & Kei-Mu Yi, 2001. "International Trade and Business Cycles: Is Vertical Specialization the Missing Link?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 91(2), pages 371-375, May.
    11. Michael Horvath, 1998. "Cyclicality and Sectoral Linkages: Aggregate Fluctuations from Independent Sectoral Shocks," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 1(4), pages 781-808, October.
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    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • E32 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Prices, Business Fluctuations, and Cycles - - - Business Fluctuations; Cycles
    • F14 - International Economics - - Trade - - - Empirical Studies of Trade
    • F43 - International Economics - - Macroeconomic Aspects of International Trade and Finance - - - Economic Growth of Open Economies

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