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Trade Prices and the Global Trade Collapse of 2008–09

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  • Gita Gopinath
  • Oleg Itskhoki
  • Brent Neiman

Abstract

The paper documents the behavior of trade prices during the Great Trade Collapse of 2008–09 using transaction-level data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. First, the paper finds that differentiated manufactures exhibited marked stability in their trade prices during the large decline in their trade volumes. Prices of nondifferentiated manufactures, by contrast, declined sharply. Second, while the trade collapse was much steeper among differentiated durable manufacturers than among nondurables, prices in both categories barely changed. Third, the frequency and magnitude of price adjustments at the product level changed with the onset of the crisis, consistent with a state-dependent view of price adjustment. The quantitative magnitudes of the changes, however, were not pronounced enough to affect aggregate prices. The paper's findings present a challenge for theories of the trade collapse based on cost shocks specific to traded goods that work through prices.

Suggested Citation

  • Gita Gopinath & Oleg Itskhoki & Brent Neiman, 2012. "Trade Prices and the Global Trade Collapse of 2008–09," IMF Economic Review, Palgrave Macmillan;International Monetary Fund, vol. 60(3), pages 303-328, September.
  • Handle: RePEc:pal:imfecr:v:60:y:2012:i:3:p:303-328
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Arne J. Nagengast & Robert Stehrer, 2016. "The Great Collapse in Value Added Trade," Review of International Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 24(2), pages 392-421, May.
    2. Gozgor, Giray, 2014. "Aggregated and disaggregated import demand in China: An empirical study," Economic Modelling, Elsevier, vol. 43(C), pages 1-8.
    3. Kevin Hjortshøj O'Rourke, 2017. "Two Great Trade Collapses: The Intewar Period & Great Recession Compared," Oxford University Economic and Social History Series _159, Economics Group, Nuffield College, University of Oxford.
    4. Chen, Natalie & Juvenal, Luciana, 2015. "Quality and the Great Trade Collapse," Working Papers 231147, American Association of Wine Economists.
    5. Alok Johri & Terry Yip, 2015. "Financial Shocks, Customer Capital and the Trade Collapse of 2008-2009," Department of Economics Working Papers 2015-13, McMaster University, revised Sep 2015.
    6. SASAKI Yuri & YOSHIDA Yushi, 2017. "Factor Decomposition of Japan's Trade Balance," Discussion papers 17042, Research Institute of Economy, Trade and Industry (RIETI).
    7. Ready, Robert & Roussanov, Nikolai & Ward, Colin, 2017. "After the tide: Commodity currencies and global trade," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 85(C), pages 69-86.
    8. Imura, Yuko, 2016. "Endogenous trade participation with price rigidities," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 100(C), pages 14-33.
    9. Castellares, Renzo & Salas, Jorge, 2016. "Contractual Imperfections and the Impact of Crises on Trade: Evidence from Industry-Level Data," Working Papers 2016-001, Banco Central de Reserva del Perú.

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