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Vertical specialization and international business cycle synchronization

  • Arkolakis, Costas
  • Ramanarayanan, Ananth

We explore the impact of vertical specialization—trade in goods across multiple stages of production—on the relationship between trade and international business cycle synchronization. We develop a model in which the degree of vertical specialization is endogenously determined by comparative advantage across heterogeneous goods and varies with trade barriers between countries. We show analytically that fluctuations in measured productivity in our model are not linked across countries through trade, despite the greater transmission of technology shocks implied by higher degrees of vertical specialization. In numerical simulations, we find this transmission is insufficient in generating substantial dependence of business cycle synchronization on trade intensity.

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Paper provided by Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas in its series Globalization and Monetary Policy Institute Working Paper with number 21.

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Length: 49 pages
Date of creation: 2008
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:fip:feddgw:21
Note: Published as: Arkolakis, Costas and Ananth Ramanarayanan (2009), "Vertical Specialization and International Business Cycle Synchronization," The Scandinavian Journal of Economics 111 (4): 655-680.
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  1. David Weinstein & Christian Broda, 2004. "Globalization and the Gains from Variety," 2004 Meeting Papers 530, Society for Economic Dynamics.
  2. Kevin X. D. Huang & Zheng Liu, 2003. "Business Cycles with Staggered Prices and International Trade in Intermediate Inputs," Emory Economics 0308, Department of Economics, Emory University (Atlanta).
  3. Julian di Giovanni & Andrei A. Levchenko, 2008. "Putting the Parts Together: Trade, Vertical Linkages, and Business Cycle Comovement," Working Papers 580, Research Seminar in International Economics, University of Michigan.
  4. Baxter, Marianne & Kouparitsas, Michael A., 2005. "Determinants of business cycle comovement: a robust analysis," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 52(1), pages 113-157, January.
  5. David L. Hummels & Dana Rapoport & Kei-Mu Yi, 1998. "Vertical specialization and the changing nature of world trade," Economic Policy Review, Federal Reserve Bank of New York, issue Jun, pages 79-99.
  6. Linda Tesar & Ariel Burstein & Chris Kurz, 2005. "Trade, Production Sharing and the International Transmission of Business Cycles," 2005 Meeting Papers 304, Society for Economic Dynamics.
  7. George Alessandria & Horag Choi, 2005. "Do sunk costs of exporting matter for net export dynamics?," Working Papers 05-20, Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia.
  8. Heathcote, Jonathan & Perri, Fabrizio, 2002. "Financial autarky and international business cycles," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 49(3), pages 601-627, April.
  9. Andrew B. Bernard & Jonathan Eaton & J. Bradford Jenson & Samuel Kortum, 2000. "Plants and Productivity in International Trade," NBER Working Papers 7688, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  10. Timothy J. Kehoe & Kim Ruhl, 2008. "Data Appendix to "Are Shocks to the Terms of Trade Shocks to Productivity?"," Technical Appendices 07-40, Review of Economic Dynamics.
  11. Frankel, Jeffrey A & Rose, Andrew K, 1996. "The Endogeneity of the Optimum Currency Area Criteria," CEPR Discussion Papers 1473, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  12. David L. Hummels & Jun Ishii & Kei-Mu Yi, 1999. "The nature and growth of vertical specialization in world trade," Staff Reports 72, Federal Reserve Bank of New York.
  13. Kose, M. Ayhan & Yi, Kei-Mu, 2006. "Can the standard international business cycle model explain the relation between trade and comovement?," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 68(2), pages 267-295, March.
  14. Paul Bergin & Robert Feenstra, 2006. "Outsourcing and Volatility," Working Papers 628, University of California, Davis, Department of Economics.
  15. Todd E. Clark & Eric Van Wincoop, 1999. "Borders and business cycles," Staff Reports 91, Federal Reserve Bank of New York.
  16. Jarko Fidrmuc, 2004. "The Endogeneity of the Optimum Currency Area Criteria, Intra-industry Trade, and EMU Enlargement," Contemporary Economic Policy, Western Economic Association International, vol. 22(1), pages 1-12, 01.
  17. César Calderón & Alberto Chong & Ernesto H. Stein, 2003. "Trade Intensity and Business Cycle Synchronization: Are Developing Countries any Different?," Research Department Publications 4315, Inter-American Development Bank, Research Department.
  18. Costas Arkolakis & Svetlana Demidova & Peter J. Klenow & Andrés Rodríguez-Clare, 2008. "Endogenous Variety and the Gains from Trade," NBER Working Papers 13933, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  19. Backus, David K & Kehoe, Patrick J & Kydland, Finn E, 1992. "International Real Business Cycles," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 100(4), pages 745-75, August.
  20. repec:hhs:iuiwop:430 is not listed on IDEAS
  21. David Backus & Patrick J. Kehoe & Finn E. Kydland, 1992. "Dynamics of the Trade Balance and the Terms of Trade: The S-Curve," NBER Working Papers 4242, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  22. Timothy J. Kehoe & Kim J. Ruhl, 2007. "Are shocks to the terms of trade shocks to productivity?," Staff Report 391, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis.
  23. Jonathan Eaton & Samuel Kortum, 2002. "Technology, Geography, and Trade," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 70(5), pages 1741-1779, September.
  24. Paul Krugman & Anthony J. Venables, 1995. "Globalization and the Inequality of Nations," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 110(4), pages 857-880.
  25. Kei-Mu Yi, 2000. "Can vertical specialization explain the growth of world trade?," Staff Reports 96, Federal Reserve Bank of New York.
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