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Distribution Capital and the Short- and Long-run Import Demand Elasticity

  • Mario J. Crucini
  • J. Scott Davis

International business-cycle models assume that home and foreign goods are poor substitutes. International trade models assume they are close substitutes. This paper constructs a model where this discrepancy is due to frictions in distribution. Imports need to be combined with a local non-traded input, distribution capital, which is slow to adjust. As a result, imported and domestic goods appear as poor substitutes in the short run. In the long run this non-traded input can be reallocated, and quantities can shift following a change in relative prices. Thus the observed substitutability between home and foreign goods gets larger as time passes.

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Paper provided by Centre for Applied Macroeconomic Analysis, Crawford School of Public Policy, The Australian National University in its series CAMA Working Papers with number 2013-56.

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Length: 38 pages
Date of creation: Sep 2013
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:een:camaaa:2013-56
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