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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. Paul Krugman & Anthony J. Venables, 1995. "Globalization and the Inequality of Nations," NBER Working Papers 5098, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. George Alessandria & Horag Choi, 2007. "Do Sunk Costs of Exporting Matter for Net Export Dynamics?," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 122(1), pages 289-336.
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  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. David K. Backus & Patrick J. Kehoe & Finn E. Kydland, 1992. "Dynamics of the trade balance and the terms of trade: the S-curve," Working Paper 9211, Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland.
  7. Andrei A Levchenko & Julian Di Giovanni, 2009. "Putting the Parts Together; Trade, Vertical Linkages, and Business Cycle Comovement," IMF Working Papers 09/181, International Monetary Fund.
  8. 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.
  9. Heathcote, Jonathan & Perri, Fabrizio, 1999. "Financial Autarky and International Business Cycles," SSE/EFI Working Paper Series in Economics and Finance 320, Stockholm School of Economics, revised 30 Apr 2000.
  10. 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.
  11. Fidrmuc, Jarko, 2001. "The endogeneity of optimum currency area criteria, intraindustry trade and EMU enlargement," BOFIT Discussion Papers 8/2001, Bank of Finland, Institute for Economies in Transition.
  12. Costas Arkolakis & Svetlana Demidova & Peter J. Klenow & Andres Rodriguez-Clare, 2008. "Endogenous Variety and the Gains from Trade," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 98(2), pages 444-50, May.
  13. 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.
  14. 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.
  15. 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.
  16. David K. Backus & Patrick J. Kehoe & Finn E. Kydland, 1987. "International real business cycles," Working Papers 426, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis.
  17. Hummels, David & Ishii, Jun & Yi, Kei-Mu, 2001. "The nature and growth of vertical specialization in world trade," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 54(1), pages 75-96, June.
  18. Todd E. Clark & Eric Van Wincoop, 1999. "Borders and business cycles," Research Working Paper 99-07, Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City.
  19. Paul Bergin & Robert Feenstra, 2006. "Outsourcing and Volatility," Working Papers 628, University of California, Davis, Department of Economics.
  20. repec:hhs:iuiwop:430 is not listed on IDEAS
  21. Kei-Mu Yi, 2000. "Can vertical specialization explain the growth of world trade?," Staff Reports 96, Federal Reserve Bank of New York.
  22. Jonathan Eaton & Samuel Kortum, 2002. "Technology, Geography, and Trade," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 70(5), pages 1741-1779, September.
  23. 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.
  24. David E. Weinstein & Christian Broda, 2004. "Globalization And The Gains From Variety," Econometric Society 2004 Latin American Meetings 327, Econometric Society.
  25. 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).
  26. Kei-Mu Yi & Ayhan Kose, 2005. "Can the Standard International Business Cycle Model Explain the Relation Between Trade and Comovement?," IMF Working Papers 05/204, International Monetary Fund.
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