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Terms-of-trade cycles and external adjustment

Author

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  • Adler, Gustavo
  • Magud, Nicolas E.
  • Werner, Alejandro

Abstract

We study the process of external adjustment to large terms-of-trade level shifts—identified with a Markov-switching approach—for a large set of countries during the period 1960–2015. We find that adjustment to these shocks is relatively fast. Current accounts experience, on average, a contemporaneous variation of only about ½ of the magnitude of the price shock—indicating a significant volume offset—and a full adjustment within 3–4 years. Dynamics are largely symmetric for terms-of-trade booms and busts, as well as for advanced and emerging market economies. External adjustment is driven primarily by offsetting shifts in domestic demand, as opposed to variations in output (also reflected in the response of import rather than export volumes), indicating a strong income channel at play. Exchange rate flexibility played an important buffering role during booms, but less so during busts; while international reserve holdings were a key tool for smoothing the adjustment process.

Suggested Citation

  • Adler, Gustavo & Magud, Nicolas E. & Werner, Alejandro, 2018. "Terms-of-trade cycles and external adjustment," International Review of Economics & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 54(C), pages 103-122.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:reveco:v:54:y:2018:i:c:p:103-122
    DOI: 10.1016/j.iref.2017.08.001
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Agenor, Pierre-Richard & Aizenman, Joshua, 2004. "Savings and the terms of trade under borrowing constraints," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 63(2), pages 321-340, July.
    2. Maurice Obstfeld, 1982. "Aggregate Spending and the Terms of Trade: Is There a Laursen-Metzler Effect?," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 97(2), pages 251-270.
    3. Paul Cashin & Christopher J. Kent, 2003. "The Response of the Current Account to Terms of Trade Shocks; Persistence Matters," IMF Working Papers 03/143, International Monetary Fund.
    4. Otto, G., 2003. "Terms of trade shocks and the balance of trade: there is a Harberger-Laursen-Metzler effect," Journal of International Money and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 22(2), pages 155-184, April.
    5. Adler, Gustavo & Magud, Nicolas E., 2015. "Four decades of terms-of-trade booms: A metric of income windfall," Journal of International Money and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 55(C), pages 162-192.
    6. Masao Ogaki & Jonathan D. Ostry & Carmen M. Reinhart, 1996. "Saving Behavior in Low- and Middle-Income Developing Countries: A Comparison," IMF Staff Papers, Palgrave Macmillan, vol. 43(1), pages 38-71, March.
    7. Ethan Ilzetzki & Carmen M. Reinhart & Kenneth S. Rogoff, 2017. "Exchange Arrangements Entering the 21st Century: Which Anchor Will Hold?," NBER Working Papers 23134, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    8. Jeffrey D. Sachs, 1981. "The Current Account and macroeconomic Adjustment in the 1970s," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 12(1), pages 201-282.
    9. Persson, Torsten & Svensson, Lars E O, 1985. "Current Account Dynamics and the Terms of Trade: Harberger-Laursen-Metzler Two Generations Later," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 93(1), pages 43-65, February.
    10. Svensson, Lars E O & Razin, Assaf, 1983. "The Terms of Trade and the Current Account: The Harberger-Laursen-Metzler Effect," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 91(1), pages 97-125, February.
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    Cited by:

    1. repec:eee:asieco:v:57:y:2018:i:c:p:13-35 is not listed on IDEAS
    2. repec:rfe:zbefri:v:35:y:2017:i:2:p:391-424 is not listed on IDEAS
    3. Ryota Nakatani, 2017. "External Adjustment in a Resource-Rich Economy: The Case of Papua New Guinea," IMF Working Papers 17/267, International Monetary Fund.
    4. Trofimov, Ivan D., 2018. "Income terms of trade and economic convergence: Evidence from Latin America," MPRA Paper 87598, University Library of Munich, Germany.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Terms of trade; External adjustment; Current account balance;

    JEL classification:

    • 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
    • F44 - International Economics - - Macroeconomic Aspects of International Trade and Finance - - - International Business Cycles

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