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Where are global and U.S. trade heading in the aftermath of the trade collapse: issues and alternative scenarios

  • Joseph W. Gruber
  • Filippo di Mauro
  • Bernd Schnatz
  • Nico Zorell

Global and U.S. trade declined dramatically in the wake of the global financial crisis in late 2008 and early 2009. The subsequent recovery in trade, while vigorous at first, gradually lost momentum in 2010. Against this backdrop, this paper explores the prospects for global and U.S. trade in the medium term. We develop a unified empirical framework – an error correction model – that exploits the cointegrating relationship between trade and economic activity. The model allows us to juxtapose several scenarios with different assumptions about the strength of GDP growth going forward and the relationship between trade and economic activity. Our analysis suggests that during the crisis both world trade and U.S. exports declined significantly more than would have been expected on the basis of historical relationships with economic activity. Moreover, this gap between actual and equilibrium trade is closing only slowly and could persist for some time to come.

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Paper provided by Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.) in its series International Finance Discussion Papers with number 1017.

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Date of creation: 2011
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Handle: RePEc:fip:fedgif:1017
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  1. Jian Wang & Charles Engel, 2008. "International Trade in Durable Goods: Understanding Volatility, Cyclicality, and Elasticities," 2008 Meeting Papers 210, Society for Economic Dynamics.
  2. Kei-Mu Yi & Rudolfs Bems & Robert C. Johnson, 2010. "Demand Spillovers and the Collapse of Trade in the Global Recession," IMF Working Papers 10/142, International Monetary Fund.
  3. Andrei A. Levchenko & Julian di Giovanni, 2009. "International Trade and Aggregate Fluctuations in Granular Economies," 2009 Meeting Papers 491, Society for Economic Dynamics.
  4. 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.
  5. George Alessandria & Joseph P. Kaboski & Virgiliu Midrigan, 2010. "The Great Trade Collapse of 2008-09: An Inventory Adjustment?," NBER Working Papers 16059, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  6. Amiti, Mary & Weinstein, David E., 2009. "Exports and Financial Shocks," CEPR Discussion Papers 7590, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  7. Hummels, David, 2001. "Time as a Trade Barrier," GTAP Working Papers 1152, Center for Global Trade Analysis, Department of Agricultural Economics, Purdue University.
  8. Eichengreen, Barry & Irwin, Douglas A., 2010. "The Slide to Protectionism in the Great Depression: Who Succumbed and Why?," The Journal of Economic History, Cambridge University Press, vol. 70(04), pages 871-897, December.
  9. 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.
  10. DellAriccia, Giovanni & Detragiache, Enrica & Rajan, Raghuram G, 2005. "The Real Effect of Banking Crises," CEPR Discussion Papers 5088, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  11. Hiau Looi Kee & Cristina Neagu & Alessandro Nicita, 2013. "Is Protectionism on the Rise? Assessing National Trade Policies during the Crisis of 2008," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 95(1), pages 342-346, March.
  12. Reinhart, Carmen & Rogoff, Kenneth, 2009. "This Time It’s Different: Eight Centuries of Financial Folly-Preface," MPRA Paper 17451, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  13. Logan Lewis & Linda Tesar & Andrei Levchenko, 2010. "The Collapse of International Trade During the 2008-2009 Crisis: In Search of the Smoking Gun," 2010 Meeting Papers 109, Society for Economic Dynamics.
  14. Chauffour, Jean-Pierre & Farole, Thomas, 2009. "Trade finance in crisis : market adjustment or market failure ?," Policy Research Working Paper Series 5003, The World Bank.
  15. Jian Wang, 2010. "Durable goods and the collapse of global trade," Economic Letter, Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas, vol. 5(feb).
  16. Calista Cheung & Stéphanie Guichard, 2009. "Understanding the World Trade Collapse," OECD Economics Department Working Papers 729, OECD Publishing.
  17. Prakash Kannan, 2010. "Credit Conditions and Recoveries From Recessions Associated with Financial Crises," IMF Working Papers 10/83, International Monetary Fund.
  18. Simeon Djankov & Caroline Freund & Cong S. Pham, 2010. "Trading on Time," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 92(1), pages 166-173, February.
  19. David Haugh & Annabelle Mourougane & Olivier Chatal, 2010. "The Automobile Industry in and Beyond the Crisis," OECD Economics Department Working Papers 745, OECD Publishing.
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