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Dynamics of the trade balance and the terms of trade: the S-curve

  • David K. Backus
  • Patrick J. Kehoe
  • Finn E. Kydland

We provide a theoretical interpretation of two features of international data: the countercyclical movements in net exports and the tendency for the trade balance to be negatively correlated with current and future movements in the terms of trade, but positively correlated with past movements. We document these same properties in a two-country stochastic growth model in which trade fluctuations reflect, in large part, the dynamics of capital formation. We find that the general equilibrium perspective is essential: The relation between the trade balance and the terms of trade depends critically on the source of fluctuations.

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Paper provided by Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland in its series Working Paper with number 9211.

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Date of creation: 1992
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:fip:fedcwp:9211
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  9. Baxter, M. & Crucini, M.J., 1990. "Explaining Saving/Investment Correlation," RCER Working Papers 224, University of Rochester - Center for Economic Research (RCER).
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  13. Pierre Danthine, Jean & Donaldson, John B., 1993. "Methodological and empirical issues in real business cycle theory," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 37(1), pages 1-35, January.
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  19. Junz, Helen B & Rhomberg, Rudolf R, 1973. "Price Competitiveness in Export Trade Among Industrial Countries," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 63(2), pages 412-18, May.
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  24. Kiminori Matsuyama, 1988. "Terms-of-Trade, Factor Intensities and the Current Account in a Life-Cycle Model," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 55(2), pages 247-262.
  25. Murphy, Robert G., 1986. "Productivity shocks, non-traded goods and optimal capital accumulation," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 30(5), pages 1081-1095, October.
  26. King, R.G. & Rebelo, S.T., 1989. "Low Frequency Filtering And Real Business Cycles," RCER Working Papers 205, University of Rochester - Center for Economic Research (RCER).
  27. John Whalley, 1984. "Trade Liberalization among Major World Trading Areas," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262231204, December.
  28. Stulz, Rene M., 1988. "Capital mobility and the current account," Journal of International Money and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 7(2), pages 167-180, June.
  29. Robert J. Hodrick, 1988. "U.S. International Capital Flows: Perspectives From Rational Maximizing Models," NBER Working Papers 2729, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  30. Helen B. Junz & Rudolf R. Rhomberg, 1973. "Price competitiveness in export trade among industrial countries," International Finance Discussion Papers 22, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
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