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Traded and Nontraded Goods Prices, and International Risk Sharing: An Empirical Investigation

In: NBER International Seminar on Macroeconomics 2011

  • Giancarlo Corsetti
  • Luca Dedola
  • Francesca Viani

Accounting for the pervasive evidence of limited international risk sharing is an important hurdle for open-economy models, especially when these are adopted in the analysis of policy trade-offs likely to be affected by imperfections in financial markets. Key to the literature is the evidence, at odds with efficiency, that consumption is relatively high in countries where its international relative price (the real exchange rate) is also high. We reconsider the relation between cross-country consumption differentials and real exchange rates, by decomposing it into two components, reflecting the prices of tradable and nontradable goods, respectively. We document that, as a common pattern among OECD countries, both components tend to contribute to the overall lack of risk sharing, with the tradable price component playing the dominant role in accounting for efficiency deviations. We relate these findings to two mechanisms proposed by the literature to reconcile open economy models with the data. One features strong Balassa-Samuelson effects on nontradable prices due to productivity gains in the tradable sector, with a muted offsetting response of tradable prices. The other, endogenous income effects causing nontradable but especially tradable prices to appreciate with a rise in domestic consumption demand.

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This chapter was published in:
  • Jeffrey Frankel & Christopher Pissarides, 2012. "NBER International Seminar on Macroeconomics 2011," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number fran11-1, March.
  • This item is provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Chapters with number 12489.
    Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberch:12489
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    1. Giancarlo Corsetti & Luca Dedola & Francesca Viani, 2012. "The international risk-sharing puzzle is at business-cycle and lower frequency," Working Papers 1212, Banco de España;Working Papers Homepage.
    2. Stockman, Alan C & Tesar, Linda L, 1995. "Tastes and Technology in a Two-Country Model of the Business Cycle: Explaining International Comovements," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 85(1), pages 168-85, March.
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    9. 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.
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    11. Gianluca Benigno & Christoph Theonissen, 2006. "Consumption and real exchange rates with incomplete markets and non-traded goods," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 3758, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
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    16. Luis Opazo, 2006. "The Backus-Smith Puzzle: The Role of Expectations," Working Papers Central Bank of Chile 395, Central Bank of Chile.
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    18. Hess, Gregory & Shin, Kwanho, 2006. "Understanding the Backus-Smith Puzzle: It’s the (Nominal) Exchange Rate, Stupid," MPRA Paper 696, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    19. Lucrezia Reichlin & Kenneth West, 2008. "NBER International Seminar on Macroeconomics 2006," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number reic08-1, March.
    20. Corsetti, Giancarlo & Dedola, Luca & Leduc, Sylvain, 2008. "High exchange-rate volatility and low pass-through," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 55(6), pages 1113-1128, September.
    21. David K. Backus & Gregor W. Smith, 1993. "Consumption and Real Exchange Rates in Dynamic Economies with Non-Traded Goods," Working Papers 1252, Queen's University, Department of Economics.
    22. Narayana R. Kocherlakota & Luigi Pistaferri, 2006. "Household heterogeneity and real exchange rates," Staff Report 372, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis.
    23. Anthony Landry & Mario Crucini, 2010. "Accounting for Real Exchange Rates using Micro-Data," 2010 Meeting Papers 1100, Society for Economic Dynamics.
    24. Baxter, M. & Crucini, M., 1991. "Business Cycles and the Asset Structure of Foreign Trade," RCER Working Papers 316, University of Rochester - Center for Economic Research (RCER).
    25. Brandt, Michael W. & Cochrane, John H. & Santa-Clara, Pedro, 2006. "International risk sharing is better than you think, or exchange rates are too smooth," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 53(4), pages 671-698, May.
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    27. Lewis, Karen K, 1996. "What Can Explain the Apparent Lack of International Consumption Risk Sharing?," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 104(2), pages 267-97, April.
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