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How Important Are Terms Of Trade Shocks?

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  • Schmitt-Grohé, Stephanie
  • Uribe, Martín

Abstract

According to conventional wisdom, terms of trade shocks represent a major source of business cycles in emerging and poor countries. This view is largely based on the analysis of calibrated business-cycle models. We argue that the view that emerges from empirical SVAR models is strikingly different. We estimate country-specific SVARs using data from 38 poor and emerging countries and find that terms-of-trade shocks explain only 10 percent of movements in aggregate activity. We then build a fully-fledged, open economy model with three sectors, importables, exportables, and nontradables, and use data from each of the 38 countries to obtain country-specific estimates of key structural parameters, including those defining the terms-of-trade process. In the estimated theoretical business-cycle models terms-of-trade shocks explain on average 30 percent of the variance of key macroeconomic indicators, three times as much as in SVAR models.

Suggested Citation

  • Schmitt-Grohé, Stephanie & Uribe, Martín, 2015. "How Important Are Terms Of Trade Shocks?," CEPR Discussion Papers 10655, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  • Handle: RePEc:cpr:ceprdp:10655
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    1. Mendoza, Enrique G, 1995. "The Terms of Trade, the Real Exchange Rate, and Economic Fluctuations," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 36(1), pages 101-137, February.
    2. Uribe, Martin, 1997. "Exchange-rate-based inflation stabilization: The initial real effects of credible plans," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 39(2), pages 197-221, July.
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    Cited by:

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    2. Ali, Syed Zahid & Anwar, Sajid, 2018. "Anticipated versus unanticipated terms of trade shocks and the J-curve phenomenon," Journal of International Money and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 81(C), pages 1-19.
    3. Erten Bilge & Tuzcuoglu Kerem, 2018. "Output Effects of Global Food Commodity Shocks," Journal of Globalization and Development, De Gruyter, vol. 9(1), pages 1-18, June.
    4. Camilo Alberto Cárdenas-Hurtado & María Alejandra Hernández-Montes, 2019. "Understanding the Consumer Confidence Index in Colombia: A structural FAVAR analysis," Borradores de Economia 1063, Banco de la Republica de Colombia.
    5. Camilo Alberto Cárdenas-Hurtado & Aaron Levi Garavito-Acosta & Jorge Hernán Toro-Córdoba, 2018. "Asymmetric Effects of Terms of Trade Shocks on Tradable and Non-tradable Investment Rates: The Colombian Case," Borradores de Economia 1043, Banco de la Republica de Colombia.
    6. Fernández, Andrés & González, Andrés & Rodríguez, Diego, 2018. "Sharing a ride on the commodities roller coaster: Common factors in business cycles of emerging economies," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 111(C), pages 99-121.
    7. David Kohn & Fernando Leibovici & Håkon Tretvoll, 2021. "Trade in Commodities and Business Cycle Volatility," American Economic Journal: Macroeconomics, American Economic Association, vol. 13(3), pages 173-208, July.
    8. Oviedo Gómez, Andrés Felipe & Sierra, Lya Paola, 2019. "The importance of terms of trade in the Colombian economy," Revista CEPAL, Naciones Unidas Comisión Económica para América Latina y el Caribe (CEPAL), August.
    9. Sergio Urzua & Felipe Saffie & Felipe Benguria, 2017. "Demand Shocks and Labor Market Dynamics: Firm Level Responses to a Commodity Boom," 2017 Meeting Papers 1443, Society for Economic Dynamics.
    10. Bodenstein, Martin & Kamber, Güneş & Thoenissen, Christoph, 2018. "Commodity prices and labour market dynamics in small open economies," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 115(C), pages 170-184.
    11. Kerli Lille, 2017. "The Role Of Capital Controls In Mediating Global Shocks," University of Tartu - Faculty of Economics and Business Administration Working Paper Series 102, Faculty of Economics and Business Administration, University of Tartu (Estonia).
    12. Lubomír Civín & Luboš Smutka, 2020. "Vulnerability of European Union Economies in Agro Trade," Sustainability, MDPI, Open Access Journal, vol. 12(12), pages 1-33, June.
    13. Nolazco, José Luis & Lengua-Lafosse, Patricia & Céspedes, Nikita, 2016. "Contribución de los choques externos en el Crecimiento Económico del Perú: un modelo semi-estructural," Working Papers 2016-006, Banco Central de Reserva del Perú.
    14. Pierre JACQUET & Alexis ATLANI & Marwan LISSER, 2017. "Policy responses to terms of trade shocks," Working Papers P205, FERDI.
    15. Pierre JACQUET & Alexis ATLANI & Marwan LISSER, 2017. "Policy responses to terms of trade shocks," Working Papers P205, FERDI.
    16. Luis N. Lanteri, 2015. "Efectos de la enfermedad holandesa ('Dutch disease'). Alguna evidencia para Argentina," Revista de Economía del Rosario, Universidad del Rosario, vol. 18(2), pages 187-209, December.
    17. Aaron Levi Garavito-Acosta & Maria Mercedes Collazos-Gaitan & Manuel Dario Hernandez-Bejarano & Enrique Montes-Uribe, 2019. "Migración internacional y determinantes de las remesas de trabajadores en Colombia," Borradores de Economia 1066, Banco de la Republica de Colombia.
    18. Felipe S. Bastos & Elano F. Arruda & Rafael B. Barbosa & Roberto T. Ferreira, 2018. "Speed of Reversion to PPP with Structural Breaks for Brazilian Cities," International Journal of Economics and Finance, Canadian Center of Science and Education, vol. 10(4), pages 15-24, April.
    19. Javier G. Gómez-Pineda, 2017. "Volatility Spillovers and Systemic Risk Across Economies: Evidence from a Global Semi-Structural Model," Borradores de Economia 1011, Banco de la Republica de Colombia.
    20. Oviedo Gómez, Andrés Felipe & Sierra, Lya Paola, 2019. "Importancia de los términos de intercambio en la economía colombiana," Revista CEPAL, Naciones Unidas Comisión Económica para América Latina y el Caribe (CEPAL), August.
    21. 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.

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    business cycles.; nontradable goods; real exchange rates; Terms of trade;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • E32 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Prices, Business Fluctuations, and Cycles - - - Business Fluctuations; Cycles
    • F41 - International Economics - - Macroeconomic Aspects of International Trade and Finance - - - Open Economy Macroeconomics
    • F44 - International Economics - - Macroeconomic Aspects of International Trade and Finance - - - International Business Cycles

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