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Elasticity Optimism

Author

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  • Jean Imbs
  • Isabelle Mejean

Abstract

On average, estimates of trade elasticities are smaller in aggregate data than at sector level. This is an artifact of aggregation. Estimations performed on aggregate data constrain sector elasticities to homogeneity, which creates a heterogeneity bias. The paper shows such a bias exists in two prominent approaches used to estimate elasticities, which has meaningful consequences for the calibration of the trade elasticity in one-sector, aggregative models. With elasticities calibrated to aggregate data, macroeconomic models can have predictions at odds with the implications of their multi-sector counterparts. They do not when elasticities are calibrated using a weighted average of sector elasticities. (JEL C51, F13, F14, F41, O19)

Suggested Citation

  • Jean Imbs & Isabelle Mejean, 2015. "Elasticity Optimism," American Economic Journal: Macroeconomics, American Economic Association, vol. 7(3), pages 43-83, July.
  • Handle: RePEc:aea:aejmac:v:7:y:2015:i:3:p:43-83
    Note: DOI: 10.1257/mac.20130231
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • C51 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Econometric Modeling - - - Model Construction and Estimation
    • F13 - International Economics - - Trade - - - Trade Policy; International Trade Organizations
    • F14 - International Economics - - Trade - - - Empirical Studies of Trade
    • F41 - International Economics - - Macroeconomic Aspects of International Trade and Finance - - - Open Economy Macroeconomics
    • O19 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - International Linkages to Development; Role of International Organizations

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