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Incomplete markets and trade

  • Paul Willen
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    In this paper, we show that incomplete markets lead to trade imbalances. We use a two-period general equilibrium model with countries composed of heterogeneous households. We look at a world where, when markets are complete, countries engage in balanced trade and we show that when some of those markets are absent, trade imbalances emerge. Market incompleteness across countries causes trade imbalances because national income in some countries is more sensitive to risky asset payoffs than in others. Market incompleteness within countries causes trade imbalances because superior risk-sharing in one country leads to a lower precautionary demand for saving.

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    File URL: http://www.bostonfed.org/economic/wp/wp2004/wp048.htm
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    Paper provided by Federal Reserve Bank of Boston in its series Working Papers with number 04-8.

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    Date of creation: 2004
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    Handle: RePEc:fip:fedbwp:04-8
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    1. Steven J. Davis & Jeremy Nalewaik & Paul Willen, 2000. "On the Gains to International Trade in Risky Financial Assets," NBER Working Papers 7796, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    2. Maurice Obstfeld & Kenneth S. Rogoff, 1996. "Foundations of International Macroeconomics," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262150476, June.
    3. Marianne Baxter & Mario J. Crucini, 1992. "Business cycles and the asset structure of foreign trade," Discussion Paper / Institute for Empirical Macroeconomics 59, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis.
    4. Levine, Ross, 2005. "Finance and Growth: Theory and Evidence," Handbook of Economic Growth, in: Philippe Aghion & Steven Durlauf (ed.), Handbook of Economic Growth, edition 1, volume 1, chapter 12, pages 865-934 Elsevier.
    5. Svensson, Lars E O, 1988. "Trade in Risky Assets," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 78(3), pages 375-94, June.
    6. Demange Gabrielle & Laroque Guy, 1995. "Optimality of Incomplete Markets," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 65(1), pages 218-232, February.
    7. Gertler, Mark & Rogoff, Kenneth, 1990. "North-South lending and endogenous domestic capital market inefficiencies," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 26(2), pages 245-266, October.
    8. Geanakoplos, John, 1990. "An introduction to general equilibrium with incomplete asset markets," Journal of Mathematical Economics, Elsevier, vol. 19(1-2), pages 1-38.
    9. Boyd, John H. & Smith, Bruce D., 1992. "Intermediation and the equilibrium allocation of investment capital : Implications for economic development," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 30(3), pages 409-432, December.
    10. Errunza, Vihang & Losq, Etienne, 1985. " International Asset Pricing under Mild Segmentation: Theory and Test," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 40(1), pages 105-24, March.
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