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Aggregate Spending and the Terms of Trade: Is There a Laursen-Metzler Effect?


  • Maurice Obstfeld


This paper investigates the spending and current-account effects of terms-of-trade shifts in a model where households maximize utility over an infinite planning period. In the framework developed here, an economy specialized in production must experience a fall in aggregate spending and a current surplus as a result of an unanticipated, permanent worsening in its terms of trade. The paper's model thus provides a setting in which the current-account deficit predicted by Laursen and Metzier, Harberger, and others fails to materialize.

Suggested Citation

  • 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.
  • Handle: RePEc:oup:qjecon:v:97:y:1982:i:2:p:251-270.

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Anonymous, 1952. "International Monetary Fund," International Organization, Cambridge University Press, vol. 6(4), pages 644-646, November.
    2. Anonymous, 1952. "International Monetary Fund," International Organization, Cambridge University Press, vol. 6(1), pages 121-125, February.
    3. Rodriguez, Carlos Alfredo, 1976. "The Terms of Trade and the Balance of Payments in the Short Run," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 66(4), pages 710-716, September.
    4. Sidney S. Alexander, 1952. "Effects of a Devaluation on a Trade Balance," IMF Staff Papers, Palgrave Macmillan, vol. 2(2), pages 263-278, April.
    5. Anonymous, 1952. "International Monetary Fund," International Organization, Cambridge University Press, vol. 6(3), pages 446-447, August.
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