International Transmission Via Trade Links: Theoretically Consistent Indicators of Interdependence for Latin America and South-East Asia
The empirical work on the role of trade linkages in the transmission of economic disturbances has been limited to tests on the significance of variables of simple trade shares of partners, both bilateral and in common markets. This approach ignores additional elements deriving from the new open economy macroeconomics, such as country size, the pricing policy of exporters and the substitutability of exports. It also only considers the ï¿½first victimï¿½ country as the one transmitting the crisis to the others, leaving out the action of all other intra-regional links. This paper bridges this gap by producing theoretically-backed indicators of vulnerability due to trade linkages in a multilateral setting. These indicators are then used to compare the size of trade linkages in Latin America and in South-east Asia, two regions that were affected by financial crises in the 1990s. The proposed indexes show that Latin America is much less vulnerable than Asia to an international transmission of economic disturbances from a country in the same region. This is due to the relatively smaller size of Latin American countries, to the higher share of raw materials in their exports and the lower degree of similarity both of the manufactures exported inside their region and of those exported to their common industrial markets. Moreover, South-east Asian countries are more likely than Latin American ones to transmit economic disturbances to industrial countries due to the higher substitutability of their manufactured exports with those of more advanced economies.
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