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The bullwhip effect and the Great Trade Collapse

  • Veronika Zavacka

    ()

    (EBRD)

This paper demonstrates the bullwhip effect in a simple framework and tests its predictions using US industry level import data. I show that after final goods suffer a demand shock, upstream suppliers face a greater volatility of sales than their downstream counterparts and might even lose sales temporarily. The effect of the shock is magnified when the inventory-to-sales ratio of the industry is high. The impact can turn non-monotonic, that is, the volatility of a downstream production stage might exceed the volatility of its suppliers, if the upstream producers operate in networks of chains with uncorrelated demands. I show empirically that, in line with the bullwhip effect, the volatility of US imports after the Lehman shock is higher for upstream industries. In addition, upstream products are more likely to drop out of trading completely. Most of the dropouts, however, are temporary and about 90 per cent of products return to trading within two years after the shock. Those imports that do not return are more likely to have been traded for a shorter period and in smaller quantities pre-crisis.

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Paper provided by European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, Office of the Chief Economist in its series Working Papers with number 148.

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Length: 47 pages
Date of creation: Sep 2012
Date of revision:
Publication status: Published in Working papers 148, European Bank for Reconstruction and Development
Handle: RePEc:ebd:wpaper:148
Contact details of provider: Postal: One Exchange Square, London EC2A 2JN
Web page: http://www.ebrd.com/pages/research/publications/workingpapers.shtml

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  1. Kei-Mu Yi & Rudolfs Bems & Robert C. Johnson, 2010. "Demand Spillovers and the Collapse of Trade in the Global Recession," IMF Working Papers 10/142, International Monetary Fund.
  2. Bricongne, J-C. & Fontagné, L. & Gaulier, G. & Taglioni, D. & Vicard, V., 2009. "Firms and the global crisis: French exports in the turmoil," Working papers 265, Banque de France.
  3. Altomonte, C. & Di Mauro, F. & Ottaviano, G. & Rungi, A. & Vicard, V., 2012. "Global Value Chains during the Great Trade Collapse: A Bullwhip Effect?," Working papers 364, Banque de France.
  4. Andrew B. Bernard & J. Bradford Jensen & Stephen J. Redding & Peter K. Schott, 2009. "The Margins of US Trade," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 99(2), pages 487-93, May.
  5. George Alessandria & Joseph P. Kaboski & Virgiliu Midrigan, 2011. "U.S. trade and inventory dynamics," Working Papers 11-6, Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia.
  6. Agnès Bénassy-Quéré & Yvan Decreux & Lionel Fontagné & David Khoudour-Castéras, 2009. "Economic Crisis and Global Supply Chains," Working Papers 2009-15, CEPII research center.
  7. Escaith, Hubert & Lindenberg, Nannette & Miroudot, Sébastien, 2010. "International Supply Chains and Trade Elasticity in Times of Global Crisis," MPRA Paper 20478, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  8. Tibor Besedes & Thomas Prusa, 2006. "Ins, outs, and the duration of trade," Canadian Journal of Economics, Canadian Economics Association, vol. 39(1), pages 266-295, February.
  9. Besedes, Tibor & Prusa, Thomas J., 2006. "Product differentiation and duration of US import trade," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 70(2), pages 339-358, December.
  10. Paul Brenton & Christian Saborowski & Erik von Uexkull, 2010. "What Explains the Low Survival Rate of Developing Country Export Flows?," World Bank Economic Review, World Bank Group, vol. 24(3), pages 474-499, December.
  11. 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.
  12. Pol Antràs & Davin Chor & Thibault Fally & Russell Hillberry, 2012. "Measuring the Upstreamness of Production and Trade Flows," NBER Working Papers 17819, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  13. Beverelli, Cosimo & Kukenova, Madina & Rocha, Nadia, 2011. "Are you experienced? Survival and recovery of trade relations after banking crises," WTO Staff Working Papers ERSD-2011-03, World Trade Organization (WTO), Economic Research and Statistics Division.
  14. Elhanan Helpman & Paul Krugman, 1987. "Market Structure and Foreign Trade: Increasing Returns, Imperfect Competition, and the International Economy," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 026258087x, June.
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