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Estimating the effect of exchange rate changes on total exports

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  • Thierry Mayer
  • Walter Steingress

Abstract

This paper shows that real effective exchange rate (REER) regressions, the standard approach for estimating the response of aggregate exports to exchange rate changes, imply biased estimates of the underlying elasticities. We provide a new aggregate regression specification that is consistent with bilateral trade flows micro-founded by the gravity equation. This theory-consistent aggregation leads to unbiased estimates when prices are set in an international currency as postulated by the dominant currency paradigm. We use Monte-Carlo simulations to compare elasticity estimates based on this new "ideal-REER" regression against typical regression specifications found in the REER literature. The results show that the biases are small (around 1 percent) for the exchange rate and large (around 10 percent) for the demand elasticity. We find empirical support for this prediction from annual trade flow data. The difference between elasticities estimated on the bilateral and the aggregate levels reduce significantly when applying an ideal-REER regression rather than a standard REER approach.

Suggested Citation

  • Thierry Mayer & Walter Steingress, 2019. "Estimating the effect of exchange rate changes on total exports," BIS Working Papers 786, Bank for International Settlements.
  • Handle: RePEc:bis:biswps:786
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Menzie Chinn, 2006. "A Primer on Real Effective Exchange Rates: Determinants, Overvaluation, Trade Flows and Competitive Devaluation," Open Economies Review, Springer, vol. 17(1), pages 115-143, January.
    2. Zoltan Jakab & Pavel Lukyantsau & Shengzu Wang, 2015. "A Global Projection Model for Euro Area Large Economies," IMF Working Papers 15/50, International Monetary Fund.
    3. Marc Klau & San Sau Fung, 2006. "The new BIS effective exchange rate indices," BIS Quarterly Review, Bank for International Settlements, March.
    4. Gita Gopinath & Emine Boz & Camila Casas & Federico J. Díez & Pierre-Olivier Gourinchas & Mikkel Plagborg-Møller, 2016. "Dominant Currency Paradigm," NBER Working Papers 22943, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    5. Michel Fouquin & Jules Hugot, 2016. "Two Centuries of Bilateral Trade and Gravity data: 1827-2014," Vniversitas Económica 015129, Universidad Javeriana - Bogotá.
    6. Nikhil Patel & Zhi Wang & Shang-Jin Wei, 2014. "Global Value Chains and Effective Exchange Rates at the Country-Sector Level," NBER Working Papers 20236, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    7. Robert J. Vigfusson & Nathan Sheets & Joseph Gagnon, 2009. "Exchange Rate Passthrough to Export Prices: Assessing Cross‐Country Evidence," Review of International Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 17(1), pages 17-33, February.
    8. Tamim Bayoumi & Jaewoo Lee & Sarma Jayanthi, 2006. "New Rates from New Weights," IMF Staff Papers, Palgrave Macmillan, vol. 53(2), pages 1-4.
    9. Russell Barnett & Karyne B. Charbonneau & Guillaume Poulin-Bellisle, 2016. "A New Measure of the Canadian Effective Exchange Rate," Discussion Papers 16-1, Bank of Canada.
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    trade elasticity; real effective exchange rate; gravity equation; dominant currency paradigm; aggregation bias;

    JEL classification:

    • F11 - International Economics - - Trade - - - Neoclassical Models of Trade
    • F12 - International Economics - - Trade - - - Models of Trade with Imperfect Competition and Scale Economies; Fragmentation
    • F31 - International Economics - - International Finance - - - Foreign Exchange
    • F32 - International Economics - - International Finance - - - Current Account Adjustment; Short-term Capital Movements

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