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Net exports, consumption volatility and international business cycle models

  • Raffo, Andrea

Conventional two-country RBC models interpret countercyclical net exports as reflecting primarily the dynamics of capital. I show that, quantitatively, theoretical economies rely on counterfactual terms of trade effects: trade fluctuations, on the contrary, are driven by consumption smoothing, thus generating procyclical net trade in goods. I then consider a class of preferences that embeds home production in a reduced form: consumption volatility increases so that countercyclical net exports reflect primarily a strong relation between consumption and imports, as in the data. The major discrepancy between theory and data concerns the variability of international prices.

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Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Journal of International Economics.

Volume (Year): 75 (2008)
Issue (Month): 1 (May)
Pages: 14-29

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Handle: RePEc:eee:inecon:v:75:y:2008:i:1:p:14-29
Contact details of provider: Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/inca/505552

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  1. McGrattan, Ellen R & Rogerson, Richard & Wright, Randall, 1997. "An Equilibrium Model of the Business Cycle with Household Production and Fiscal Policy," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 38(2), pages 267-90, May.
  2. Cole, Harold L. & Obstfeld, Maurice, 1991. "Commodity trade and international risk sharing : How much do financial markets matter?," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 28(1), pages 3-24, August.
  3. Marianne Baxter & Mario J. Crucini, 1994. "Business Cycles and the Asset Structure of Foreign Trade," NBER Working Papers 4975, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  4. Rogerson, Richard, 1988. "Indivisible labor, lotteries and equilibrium," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 21(1), pages 3-16, January.
  5. Alan C. Stockman & Linda L. Tesar, 1990. "Tastes and Technology in a Two-Country Model of the Business Cycle: Explaining International Comovements," NBER Working Papers 3566, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  6. Gary Hansen, 2010. "Indivisible Labor and the Business Cycle," Levine's Working Paper Archive 233, David K. Levine.
  7. Heathcote, Jonathan & Perri, Fabrizio, 1999. "Financial Autarky and International Business Cycles," SSE/EFI Working Paper Series in Economics and Finance 320, Stockholm School of Economics, revised 30 Apr 2000.
  8. Stephanie Schmitt-Grohe & Martin Uribe, 2002. "Closing Small Open Economy Models," NBER Working Papers 9270, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  9. Francois Gourio & Pierre-Alexandre Noual, 2006. "The Marginal Worker and the Aggregate Elasticity of Labor Supply," 2006 Meeting Papers 509, Society for Economic Dynamics.
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