IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/p/cpr/ceprdp/9888.html
   My bibliography  Save this paper

Trade and Uncertainty

Author

Listed:
  • Novy, Dennis
  • Taylor, Alan M.

Abstract

We offer a new explanation as to why international trade is so volatile in response to economic shocks. Our approach combines the uncertainty shock idea of Bloom (2009) with a model of international trade, extending the idea to the open economy. Firms import intermediate inputs from home or foreign suppliers, but with higher costs in the latter case. Due to fixed costs of ordering firms hold an inventory of intermediates. We show that in response to an uncertainty shock firms optimally adjust their inventory policy by cutting their orders of foreign intermediates disproportionately strongly. In the aggregate, this response leads to a bigger contraction in international trade flows than in domestic economic activity. We confront the model with newly-compiled monthly aggregate U.S. import data and industrial production data going back to 1962, and also with disaggregated data back to 1989. Our results suggest a tight link between uncertainty and the cyclical behavior of international trade.

Suggested Citation

  • Novy, Dennis & Taylor, Alan M., 2014. "Trade and Uncertainty," CEPR Discussion Papers 9888, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  • Handle: RePEc:cpr:ceprdp:9888
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: http://www.cepr.org/active/publications/discussion_papers/dp.php?dpno=9888
    Download Restriction: CEPR Discussion Papers are free to download for our researchers, subscribers and members. If you fall into one of these categories but have trouble downloading our papers, please contact us at subscribers@cepr.org
    ---><---

    As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to look for a different version below or search for a different version of it.

    Other versions of this item:

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Leibovici, Fernando & Waugh, Michael E., 2019. "International trade and intertemporal substitution," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 117(C), pages 158-174.
    2. Kristian Behrens & Gregory Corcos & Giordano Mion, 2013. "Trade Crisis? What Trade Crisis?," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 95(2), pages 702-709, May.
    3. Hassler, John A. A., 1996. "Variations in risk and fluctuations in demand: A theoretical model," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 20(6-7), pages 1115-1143.
    4. Kropf, Andreas & Sauré, Philip, 2014. "Fixed costs per shipment," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 92(1), pages 166-184.
    5. James E. Anderson & Eric van Wincoop, 2003. "Gravity with Gravitas: A Solution to the Border Puzzle," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 93(1), pages 170-192, March.
    6. Ferdinand Rauch & Guy Michaels, 2013. "Resetting the Urban Network: 117-2012," Economics Series Working Papers 684, University of Oxford, Department of Economics.
    7. Grossman, Sanford J & Laroque, Guy, 1990. "Asset Pricing and Optimal Portfolio Choice in the Presence of Illiquid Durable Consumption Goods," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 58(1), pages 25-51, January.
    8. Luigi Guiso & Giuseppe Parigi, 1999. "Investment and Demand Uncertainty," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 114(1), pages 185-227.
    9. Andrei A. Levchenko & Logan Lewis & Linda L. Tesar, 2009. "The Collapse of International Trade During the 2008-2009 Crisis: In Search of the Smoking Gun," Working Papers 592, Research Seminar in International Economics, University of Michigan.
    10. Gita Gopinath & Oleg Itskhoki & Brent Neiman, 2011. "Trade Prices and the Global Trade Collapse of 2008-2009," NBER Working Papers 17594, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    11. Graham Elliott & Allan Timmermann & Ivana Komunjer, 2005. "Estimation and Testing of Forecast Rationality under Flexible Loss," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 72(4), pages 1107-1125.
    12. Bown, Chad P. & Crowley, Meredith A., 2013. "Import protection, business cycles, and exchange rates: Evidence from the Great Recession," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 90(1), pages 50-64.
    13. Jean Imbs, 2010. "The First Global Recession in Decades," IMF Economic Review, Palgrave Macmillan;International Monetary Fund, vol. 58(2), pages 327-354, December.
    14. Nadiri, M Ishaq & Prucha, Ingmar R, 1996. "Estimation of the Depreciation Rate of Physical and R&D Capital in the U.S. Total Manufacturing Sector," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 34(1), pages 43-56, January.
    15. repec:ebd:wpaper:149 is not listed on IDEAS
    16. Chad P. Bown, 2011. "The Great Recession and Import Protection : The Role of Temporary Trade Barriers," World Bank Publications - Books, The World Bank Group, number 16359, December.
    17. Chor, Davin & Manova, Kalina, 2012. "Off the cliff and back? Credit conditions and international trade during the global financial crisis," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 87(1), pages 117-133.
    18. Hiau Looi Kee & Cristina Neagu & Alessandro Nicita, 2013. "Is Protectionism on the Rise? Assessing National Trade Policies during the Crisis of 2008," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 95(1), pages 342-346, March.
    19. Daniel Paravisini & Veronica Rappoport & Philipp Schnabl & Daniel Wolfenzon, 2015. "Dissecting the Effect of Credit Supply on Trade: Evidence from Matched Credit-Export Data," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 82(1), pages 333-359.
    20. Richard Baldwin & Paul Krugman, 1989. "Persistent Trade Effects of Large Exchange Rate Shocks," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 104(4), pages 635-654.
    21. Engel, Charles & Wang, Jian, 2011. "International trade in durable goods: Understanding volatility, cyclicality, and elasticities," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 83(1), pages 37-52, January.
    22. Kyle Handley & Nuno Limão, 2018. "Trade and Investment under Policy Uncertainty: Theory and Firm Evidence," World Scientific Book Chapters, in: Policy Externalities and International Trade Agreements, chapter 4, pages 89-122, World Scientific Publishing Co. Pte. Ltd..
    23. Dixit, Avinash K, 1989. "Entry and Exit Decisions under Uncertainty," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 97(3), pages 620-638, June.
    24. Pindyck, Robert S, 1991. "Irreversibility, Uncertainty, and Investment," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 29(3), pages 1110-1148, September.
    25. Handley, Kyle, 2014. "Exporting under trade policy uncertainty: Theory and evidence," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 94(1), pages 50-66.
    26. Bricongne, Jean-Charles & Fontagné, Lionel & Gaulier, Guillaume & Taglioni, Daria & Vicard, Vincent, 2012. "Firms and the global crisis: French exports in the turmoil," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 87(1), pages 134-146.
    27. Scott R. Baker & Nicholas Bloom & Steven J. Davis, 2016. "Measuring Economic Policy Uncertainty," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 131(4), pages 1593-1636.
    28. Virgiliu Midrigan & Joseph Kaboski & George Alessandria, 2010. "The Great Trade Collapse of 2008-09: An Inventory Adjustment?," 2010 Meeting Papers 107, Society for Economic Dynamics.
    29. J. B. Taylor & M. Woodford (ed.), 1999. "Handbook of Macroeconomics," Handbook of Macroeconomics, Elsevier, edition 1, volume 1, number 1.
    30. Gopinath, Gita & Itskhoki, Oleg & Neiman, Brent, 2012. "Trade Prices and the Global Trade Collapse of 2008–09," Scholarly Articles 11988099, Harvard University Department of Economics.
    31. George Alessandria & Joseph P. Kaboski & Virgiliu Midrigan, 2011. "US Trade and Inventory Dynamics," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 101(3), pages 303-307, May.
    32. Andrei A Levchenko & Logan T Lewis & Linda L Tesar, 2010. "The Collapse of International Trade during the 2008–09 Crisis: In Search of the Smoking Gun," IMF Economic Review, Palgrave Macmillan;International Monetary Fund, vol. 58(2), pages 214-253, December.
    33. Ramey, Valerie A, 1989. "Inventories as Factors of Production and Economic Fluctuations," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 79(3), pages 338-354, June.
    34. Gita Gopinath & Oleg Itskhoki & Brent Neiman, 2012. "Trade Prices and the Global Trade Collapse of 2008–09," IMF Economic Review, Palgrave Macmillan;International Monetary Fund, vol. 60(3), pages 303-328, September.
    35. Paul Krugman, 2013. "Economics in the Crisis," Notas Económicas, Faculty of Economics, University of Coimbra, issue 37, pages 11-22, June.
    36. Rudolfs Bems & Robert C. Johnson & Kei-Mu Yi, 2011. "Vertical Linkages and the Collapse of Global Trade," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 101(3), pages 308-312, May.
    37. Bricongne, Jean-Charles & Fontagné, Lionel & Gaulier, Guillaume & Taglioni, Daria & Vicard, Vincent, 2012. "Firms and the global crisis: French exports in the turmoil," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 87(1), pages 134-146.
    38. Jonathan Eaton & Samuel Kortum & Brent Neiman & John Romalis, 2016. "Trade and the Global Recession," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 106(11), pages 3401-3438, November.
    39. Alessandria, George & Choi, Horag & Kaboski, Joseph P. & Midrigan, Virgiliu, 2015. "Microeconomic uncertainty, international trade, and aggregate fluctuations," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 69(C), pages 20-38.
    40. Mary Amiti & David E. Weinstein, 2011. "Exports and Financial Shocks," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 126(4), pages 1841-1877.
    41. Robert McDonald & Daniel Siegel, 1986. "The Value of Waiting to Invest," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 101(4), pages 707-727.
    42. Rudolfs Bems & Robert C. Johnson & Kei-Mu Yi, 2013. "The Great Trade Collapse," Annual Review of Economics, Annual Reviews, vol. 5(1), pages 375-400, May.
    43. David Berger & Ian Dew-Becker & Stefano Giglio, 2020. "Uncertainty Shocks as Second-Moment News Shocks," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 87(1), pages 40-76.
    44. George Alessandria & Joseph P. Kaboski & Virgiliu Midrigan, 2010. "The great trade collapse of 2008-2009: an inventory adjustment?," Working Papers 10-18, Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia.
    45. Jose Campa & Linda S. Goldberg, 1997. "The Evolving External Orientation of Manufacturing Industries: Evidence from Four Countries," NBER Working Papers 5919, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Most related items

    These are the items that most often cite the same works as this one and are cited by the same works as this one.
    1. Arne J. Nagengast & Robert Stehrer, 2016. "The Great Collapse in Value Added Trade," Review of International Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 24(2), pages 392-421, May.
    2. Chen, Natalie & Juvenal, Luciana, 2018. "Quality and the Great Trade Collapse," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 135(C), pages 59-76.
    3. Chen, Natalie & Juvenal, Luciana, 2018. "Quality and the Great Trade Collapse," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 135(C), pages 59-76.
    4. Rudolfs Bems & Robert C. Johnson & Kei-Mu Yi, 2013. "The Great Trade Collapse," Annual Review of Economics, Annual Reviews, vol. 5(1), pages 375-400, May.
    5. Alok Johri & Terry Yip, 2015. "Financial Shocks, Customer Capital and the Trade Collapse of 2008-2009," Department of Economics Working Papers 2015-13, McMaster University, revised Sep 2015.
    6. William F. Lincoln & Andrew H. McCallum & Michael Siemer, 2017. "The Great Recession and a Missing Generation of Exporters," Finance and Economics Discussion Series 2017-108, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
    7. Jonathan Eaton & Samuel Kortum & Brent Neiman & John Romalis, 2016. "Trade and the Global Recession," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 106(11), pages 3401-3438, November.
    8. Schmidt-Eisenlohr, Tim, 2013. "Towards a theory of trade finance," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 91(1), pages 96-112.
    9. William Lincoln & Andrew McCallum & Michael Siemer, 2018. "The Great Recession and a Missing Generation of Exporters," 2018 Meeting Papers 558, Society for Economic Dynamics.
    10. Anna Watson, 2019. "Financial Frictions, the Great Trade Collapse and International Trade over the Business Cycle," Open Economies Review, Springer, vol. 30(1), pages 19-64, February.
    11. William F. Lincoln & Andrew H. McCallum & Michael Siemer, 2018. "The Great Recession and a Missing Generation of Exporters," Working Papers 18-33, Center for Economic Studies, U.S. Census Bureau.
    12. Nicolas Berman & José de Sousa & Philippe Martin & Thierry Mayer, 2013. "Time to Ship during Financial Crises," NBER International Seminar on Macroeconomics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 9(1), pages 225-260.
    13. Nicolas Berman & José de Sousa & Philippe Martin & Thierry Mayer, 2013. "Time to Ship during Financial Crises," NBER International Seminar on Macroeconomics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 9(1), pages 225-260.
    14. Leibovici, Fernando & Waugh, Michael E., 2019. "International trade and intertemporal substitution," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 117(C), pages 158-174.
    15. Nicolas Berman & José de Sousa & Philippe Martin & Thierry Mayer, 2013. "Time to Ship during Financial Crises," NBER International Seminar on Macroeconomics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 9(1), pages 225-260.
    16. Simola, Heli, 2021. "Trade collapse during the covid-19 crisis and the role of demand composition," BOFIT Discussion Papers 12/2021, Bank of Finland, Institute for Economies in Transition.
    17. Kevin Hjortshøj O’Rourke, 2018. "Two Great Trade Collapses: The Interwar Period and Great Recession Compared," IMF Economic Review, Palgrave Macmillan;International Monetary Fund, vol. 66(3), pages 418-439, September.
    18. Alan de Bromhead & Alan Fernihough & Markus Lampe & Kevin Hjortshøj O'Rourke, 2021. "Four great Asian trade collapses," Australian Economic History Review, Economic History Society of Australia and New Zealand, vol. 61(2), pages 159-185, July.
    19. Nicolas Berman & José de Sousa & Philippe Martin & Thierry Mayer, 2013. "Time to Ship during Financial Crises," NBER International Seminar on Macroeconomics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 9(1), pages 225-260.
    20. Nicolas Berman & José de Sousa & Philippe Martin & Thierry Mayer, 2013. "Time to Ship during Financial Crises," NBER International Seminar on Macroeconomics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 9(1), pages 225-260.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Imports; Intermediates; Inventory; Real options; Trade collapse; Uncertainty shock;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • E3 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Prices, Business Fluctuations, and Cycles
    • F1 - International Economics - - Trade

    NEP fields

    This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:

    Statistics

    Access and download statistics

    Corrections

    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:cpr:ceprdp:9888. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: . General contact details of provider: https://www.cepr.org .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a bibliographic reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (email available below). General contact details of provider: https://www.cepr.org .

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.