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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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    References listed on IDEAS

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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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    1. repec:eee:jimfin:v:81:y:2018:i:c:p:1-19 is not listed on IDEAS
    2. Pierre JACQUET & Alexis ATLANI & Marwan LISSER, 2017. "Policy responses to terms of trade shocks," Working Papers P205, FERDI.
    3. Hakon Tretvoll & Fernando Leibovici & David Kohn, 2017. "Trade in Commodities and Emerging Market Business Cycles," 2017 Meeting Papers 743, Society for Economic Dynamics.
    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. Pierre JACQUET & Alexis ATLANI & Marwan LISSER, 2017. "Policy responses to terms of trade shocks," Working Papers P205, FERDI.
    6. 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.
    7. 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.
    8. 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.
    9. 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.
    10. 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.
    11. repec:ibn:ijefaa:v:10:y:2018:i:4:p:15-24 is not listed on IDEAS
    12. 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.
    13. 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.
    14. José Luis Nolazco & Patricia Lengua-Lafosse & Nikita Céspedes, 2016. "Contribución de los choques externos en el crecimiento económico del Perú: un modelo semi-estructural," Working Papers 2016-80, Peruvian Economic Association.
    15. López-Martín Bernabé & Leal-Ordoñez Julio C. & Martínez André, 2017. "Commodity Price Risk Management and Fiscal Policy in a Sovereign Default Model," Working Papers 2017-04, Banco de México.
    16. 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.
    17. 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).
    18. Javier G. Gómez-Pineda, 2016. "La flotación de 1957 y la estabilidad macroeconómica," Borradores de Economia 938, Banco de la Republica de Colombia.

    More about this item

    Keywords

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

    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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