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Explaining International Business Cycle Synchronization: Recursive Preferences and the Terms of Trade Channel

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  • Robert Kollmann

Abstract

The business cycles of advanced economies are synchronized. Standard macro models fail to explain that fact. This paper presents a simple model of a two-country, two-tradedgood, complete-financial-markets world in which country-specific productivity shocks generate business cycles that are highly correlated internationally. The model assumes recursive intertemporal preferences (Epstein-Zin-Weil), and a muted response of labor hours to household wealth changes (due to Greenwood-Hercowitz-Huffman period utility and demand-determined employment under rigid wages). Recursive intertemporal preferences magnify the terms of trade response to country-specific shocks. Hence, a productivity (and GDP) increase in a given country triggers a strong improvement of the foreign country’s terms of trade, which raises foreign labor demand. With a muted labor wealth effect, foreign labor and GDP rise, i.e. domestic and foreign real activity comove positively.

Suggested Citation

  • Robert Kollmann, 2017. "Explaining International Business Cycle Synchronization: Recursive Preferences and the Terms of Trade Channel," Working Papers ECARES ECARES 2017-08, ULB -- Universite Libre de Bruxelles.
  • Handle: RePEc:eca:wpaper:2013/248464
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    1. repec:eee:inecon:v:111:y:2018:i:c:p:143-158 is not listed on IDEAS
    2. Ansgar Belke & Clemens Domnick & Daniel Gros, 2017. "Business Cycle Synchronization in the EMU: Core vs. Periphery," Open Economies Review, Springer, vol. 28(5), pages 863-892, November.
    3. Benjamin Schwanebeck, 2017. "Unconventional Monetary Policy in a Financially Heterogeneous Monetary Union," MAGKS Papers on Economics 201741, Philipps-Universität Marburg, Faculty of Business Administration and Economics, Department of Economics (Volkswirtschaftliche Abteilung).

    More about this item

    Keywords

    international business cycle synchronization; recursive preferences; trade; real exchange; wealth effect on labor supply;

    JEL classification:

    • F31 - International Economics - - International Finance - - - Foreign Exchange
    • F32 - International Economics - - International Finance - - - Current Account Adjustment; Short-term Capital Movements
    • F36 - International Economics - - International Finance - - - Financial Aspects of Economic Integration
    • F41 - International Economics - - Macroeconomic Aspects of International Trade and Finance - - - Open Economy Macroeconomics
    • F43 - International Economics - - Macroeconomic Aspects of International Trade and Finance - - - Economic Growth of Open Economies

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