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Production fragmentation and business-cycle comovement

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  • Ng, Eric C.Y.

Abstract

International trade increasingly involves trade in goods being produced in fragmentation arrangements across countries, with each country specializing in different stages of a production sequence. This paper examines empirically whether pairs of countries with more bilateral production fragmentation arrangements tend to have more correlated business cycles. Using cross-country data from 30 countries, we find that bilateral production fragmentation has a positive effect while the standard bilateral trade intensity indicator has a negative impact on business-cycle comovement. We also find that the positive effect of trade in complements (captured by bilateral production fragmentation) dominates the negative effect of trade in substitutes (explained by bilateral trade intensity), resulting in an overall positive impact of trade. Hence, bilateral production fragmentation plays a key role underlying the positive response of business-cycle comovement to increases in trade.

Suggested Citation

  • Ng, Eric C.Y., 2010. "Production fragmentation and business-cycle comovement," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 82(1), pages 1-14, September.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:inecon:v:82:y:2010:i:1:p:1-14
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