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Trade Intensity and Business Cycle Synchronization: Are Developing Countries Any Different?

  • César Calderón
  • Alberto Chong
  • Ernesto Stein

Some key criteria in the optimal currency area literature are that countries should join a currency union if they have closer international trade links and more symmetric business cycles. However, both criteria are endogenous. Frankel and Rose (1998) find that trade intensity increases cycle correlation among industrial countries. We study whether the same result holds true for the case of developing countries, as their different patterns of international trade and specialization may lead to cyclical asymmetries among them and between industrial and developing countries. We gather annual information for 147 countries for 1960-99 (33676 country pairs) and find: (i) countries with higher bilateral trade exhibit higher business cycle synchronization, with an increase of one standard deviation in bilateral trade intensity raising the utput correlation from 0.05 to 0.09 for all country pairs; (ii) countries with more asymmetric structures of production exhibit a smaller business cycle correlation; (iii) the impact of trade integration on business cycles is higher for industrial countries than both developing and the industrial-developing country pairs; (iv) a one standard deviation increase in bilateral trade intensity leads to surges in output correlation from 0.25 to 0.39 among industrial countries, from 0.08 to 0.10 for our sample of industrial-developing country pairs, and from 0.03 to 0.06 among developing countries; (v) the impact of trade intensity on cycle correlation is smaller the greater the production structure asymmetries between the countries.

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Paper provided by Central Bank of Chile in its series Working Papers Central Bank of Chile with number 195.

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Date of creation: Dec 2002
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Handle: RePEc:chb:bcchwp:195
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  1. Fidrmuc, Jarko, 2001. "The Endogeneity of optimum currency area criteria, intraindustry trade and EMU enlargement," BOFIT Discussion Papers 8/2001, Bank of Finland, Institute for Economies in Transition.
  2. Barry Eichengreen & Douglas A. Irwin, 1998. "The Role of History in Bilateral Trade Flows," NBER Chapters, in: The Regionalization of the World Economy, pages 33-62 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. Shang-Jin Wei, 1996. "Intra-National versus International Trade: How Stubborn are Nations in Global Integration?," NBER Working Papers 5531, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  4. Alan Deardorff, 1998. "Determinants of Bilateral Trade: Does Gravity Work in a Neoclassical World?," NBER Chapters, in: The Regionalization of the World Economy, pages 7-32 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  5. Imbs, Jean, 2003. "Trade, Finance, Specialization and Synchronization," CEPR Discussion Papers 3779, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
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  10. Shin, Kwanho & Wang, Yunjong, 2004. "Trade integration and business cycle co-movements: the case of Korea with other Asian countries," Japan and the World Economy, Elsevier, vol. 16(2), pages 213-230, April.
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  12. Marianne Baxter & Robert G. King, 1999. "Measuring Business Cycles: Approximate Band-Pass Filters For Economic Time Series," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 81(4), pages 575-593, November.
  13. Bruno Van Pottelsberghe & Frank Lichtenberg, 1998. "International R&D spillovers comment," ULB Institutional Repository 2013/6233, ULB -- Universite Libre de Bruxelles.
  14. Clark, Todd E. & van Wincoop, Eric, 2001. "Borders and business cycles," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 55(1), pages 59-85, October.
  15. Alan C. Stockman, 1987. "Sectoral and National Aggregate Disturbances to Industrial Output in Seven European Countries," NBER Working Papers 2313, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  16. Frankel, Jeffrey A. & Rose, Andrew K., 1997. "Is EMU more justifiable ex post than ex ante?," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 41(3-5), pages 753-760, April.
  17. M. Ayhan Kose & Kei-Mu Yi, 2001. "International Trade and Business Cycles: Is Vertical Specialization the Missing Link?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 91(2), pages 371-375, May.
  18. Kalemli-Ozcan, Sebnem & Sorensen, Bent E. & Yosha, Oved, 2001. "Economic integration, industrial specialization, and the asymmetry of macroeconomic fluctuations," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 55(1), pages 107-137, October.
  19. Jeffrey Frankel & Andrew Rose, 2002. "An Estimate Of The Effect Of Common Currencies On Trade And Income," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 117(2), pages 437-466, May.
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