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The Harberger-Laursen-Metzler Effect Revisited: An Indirect-Utility-Function Approach

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  • Roberto Duncan

Abstract

To study the effect of a terms-of-trade shock on the current account, Ostry and Reinhart (1992) and Cashin and McDermott (1998) estimate the intertemporal and intratemporal elasticities of substitution, for a set of countries, constructing importable and non-tradable consumption series. Unfortunately,these series are not available for most developing countries. This paper presents a dynamic stochastic framework, similar to Ostry and Reinhart’s, that maximizes a representative agent’s indirect utility function. The Euler conditions derived from the optimization problem do not depend on variables such as tradable and non-tradable consumption, avoiding the need for constructing them and adopting strong assumptions. Using GMM and Chilean quarterly data for the 1986-2002 period, I conclude that moderately low intertemporal and intratemporal substitution effects exist. The first estimated elasticity lies in the range of 0.46 to 0.56 and the latter is around 1.

Suggested Citation

  • Roberto Duncan, 2003. "The Harberger-Laursen-Metzler Effect Revisited: An Indirect-Utility-Function Approach," Working Papers Central Bank of Chile 250, Central Bank of Chile.
  • Handle: RePEc:chb:bcchwp:250
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    1. Aaron Tornell & Philip Lane, 1994. "Are Windfalls a Curse? A Non-Representative Agent Model of the Current Account and Fiscal Policy," NBER Working Papers 4839, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    2. Serven, Luis, 1995. "Capital goods imports, the real exchange rate and the current account," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 39(1-2), pages 79-101, August.
    3. Masao Ogaki & Carmen M. Reinhart, 1998. "Measuring Intertemporal Substitution: The Role of Durable Goods," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 106(5), pages 1078-1098, October.
    4. Sen, Partha & Turnovsky, Stephen J., 1989. "Deterioration of the terms of trade and capital accumulation: A re-examination of the Laursen-Metzler effect," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 26(3-4), pages 227-250, May.
    5. Jonathan D. Ostry, 1988. "The Balance of Trade, Terms of Trade, and Real Exchange Rate: An Intertemporal Optimizing Framework," IMF Staff Papers, Palgrave Macmillan, vol. 35(4), pages 541-573, December.
    6. Gavin, Michael, 1990. "Structural adjustment to a terms of trade disturbance : The role of relative prices," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 28(3-4), pages 217-243, May.
    7. Turnovsky, S. & Sen, P., 1988. "Deterioration Of The Term Of Trade And Capital Eccumulation A Reexamination Of The Laursen-Metzler Effect," Working Papers 88-08, University of Washington, Department of Economics.
    8. Maurice Obstfeld, 1982. "Aggregate Spending and the Terms of Trade: Is There a Laursen-Metzler Effect?," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 97(2), pages 251-270.
    9. Serven, Luis, 1999. "Terms-of-trade shocks and optimal investment: another look at the Laursen-Metzler effect," Journal of International Money and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 18(3), pages 337-365.
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    Cited by:

    1. Medina, Juan Pablo & Soto, Claudio, 2016. "Commodity prices and fiscal policy in a commodity exporting economy," Economic Modelling, Elsevier, vol. 59(C), pages 335-351.
    2. Eicher, Theo S. & Schubert, Stefan F. & Turnovsky, Stephen J., 2008. "Dynamic effects of terms of trade shocks: The impact on debt and growth," Journal of International Money and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 27(6), pages 876-896, October.
    3. Elías Albagli I., 2005. "Denomination of the Debt of the Chilean Government: A Risk Management Perspective," Journal Economía Chilena (The Chilean Economy), Central Bank of Chile, vol. 8(3), pages 55-74, December.
    4. Luis F. Céspedes & Claudio Soto, 2005. "Credibility and Inflation Targeting in an Emerging Market: The Case of Chile," Working Papers Central Bank of Chile 312, Central Bank of Chile.
    5. Piotr Misztal, 2010. "The Harberger-Laursen-Metzler Effect. Theory and Practice in Poland," Romanian Economic Journal, Department of International Business and Economics from the Academy of Economic Studies Bucharest, vol. 13(38), pages 129-146, December.
    6. repec:eee:reveco:v:50:y:2017:i:c:p:245-260 is not listed on IDEAS

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