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Terms of Trade Risk

  • Benjamin Dennis

    ()

    (Department of Economics, University of the Pacific)

  • Talan Iscan

    ()

    (Department of Economics, Dalhousie University)

This paper analyzes income and consumption risk resulting from fluctuations in the terms-of-trade in a small open economy when factors can be reallocated after incurring a fixed cost. This fixed cost of relocation across sectors introduces partial labor mobility and sector-specific uncertainty. We find that these risks can be significant, even with small adjustment costs and moderate degrees of terms-of-trade volatility. When sector-specific risks are uninsurable, factor immobility leads to considerable income disparity and welfare losses on the order of up to a one percent permanent reduction in consumption. Of the total welfare costs faced by an economy with fixed costs of reallocation, the magnitude of these risks alone is comparable to the aggregate welfare costs that a frictionless economy would experience as a result of terms-of-trade fluctuations. Thus, the welfare costs of terms-of-trade fluctuations for an economy with fixed relocation costs are considerably greater than that of a frictionless economy.

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File URL: http://www.economics.dal.ca/RePEc/dal/wparch/totrisk.pdf
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Paper provided by Dalhousie, Department of Economics in its series Department of Economics at Dalhousie University working papers archive with number totrisk.

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Length: 41 pages
Date of creation: 09 Jan 2002
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:dal:wparch:totrisk
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  1. Clinton, Kevin, 2001. "On Commodity-Sensitive Currencies and Inflation Targeting," Working Papers 01-3, Bank of Canada.
  2. Cole, Harold L. & Obstfeld, Maurice, 1991. "Commodity trade and international risk sharing : How much do financial markets matter?," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 28(1), pages 3-24, August.
  3. Paul Cashin & Hong Liang & C. John McDermott, 2000. "How Persistent Are Shocks to World Commodity Prices?," IMF Staff Papers, Palgrave Macmillan, vol. 47(2), pages 2.
  4. R. Mehra & E. Prescott, 2010. "The equity premium: a puzzle," Levine's Working Paper Archive 1401, David K. Levine.
  5. Robert C. Feenstra & Tracy R. Lewis, 1991. "Trade Adjustment Assistance and Pareto Gains From Trade," NBER Working Papers 3845, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  6. Chari, V V & Kehoe, Patrick J & McGrattan, Ellen R, 2002. "Can Sticky Price Models Generate Volatile and Persistent Real Exchange Rates?," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 69(3), pages 533-63, July.
  7. Townsend, Robert M, 1994. "Risk and Insurance in Village India," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 62(3), pages 539-91, May.
  8. Maurice Obstfeld & Kenneth Rogoff, 2001. "The Six Major Puzzles in International Macroeconomics: Is There a Common Cause?," International Trade 0012003, EconWPA.
  9. Dani Rodrik, 1996. "Why Do More Open Economies Have Bigger Governments?," NBER Working Papers 5537, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  10. Roberts, Matthew C. & Goodwin, Barry K. & Coble, Keith H., 1998. "Measurement Of Price Risk In Revenue Insurance: Implications Of Distributional Assumptions," 1998 Annual meeting, August 2-5, Salt Lake City, UT 20840, American Agricultural Economics Association (New Name 2008: Agricultural and Applied Economics Association).
  11. Attanasio, Orazio & Davis, Steven J, 1996. "Relative Wage Movements and the Distribution of Consumption," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 104(6), pages 1227-62, December.
  12. Marianne Baxter & Urban J. Jermann, 1995. "The International Diversification Puzzle is Worse Than You Think," NBER Working Papers 5019, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  13. 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.
  14. Gouge, Randall & King, Ian, 1997. "A Competitive Theory of Employment Dynamics," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 64(1), pages 1-22, January.
  15. Lewis, Stephen Jr., 1989. "Primary exporting countries," Handbook of Development Economics, in: Hollis Chenery & T.N. Srinivasan (ed.), Handbook of Development Economics, edition 1, volume 2, chapter 29, pages 1541-1600 Elsevier.
  16. Bidarkota, Prasad & Crucini, Mario J, 2000. "Commodity Prices and the Terms of Trade," Review of International Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 8(4), pages 647-66, November.
  17. Mendoza, Enrique G., 1997. "Terms-of-trade uncertainty and economic growth," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 54(2), pages 323-356, December.
  18. Benjamin Dennis & Talan Iscan, 2000. "The Virtues of Flexibility: Import Dependence and External Shocks," Department of Economics at Dalhousie University working papers archive eshocks, Dalhousie, Department of Economics.
  19. Dixit Avinash & Rob Rafael, 1994. "Switching Costs and Sectoral Adjustments in General Equilibrium with Uninsured Risk," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 62(1), pages 48-69, February.
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