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Transitory terms-of-trade shocks and the current account: the case of constant time preference

  • Maurice Obstfeld

The paper uses an intertemporal perfect-foresight optimizing model to analyze the effect of transitory terms-of-trade shocks on a small open . economy's current-account and utility time profiles. An adverse terms-of-trade shift known to be temporary induces the economy to run down its stock of external assets in the period before the terms of trade revert to their initial level. Subsequently, the assets consumed during this period are reaccumulated. The current-account response is due only in part to a desire to smooth out the future consumption stream. In addition, households know that the real value of any debt incurred while the terms of trade are unfavorable will be reduced sharply when the terms of trade improve. This opportunity for intertemporal price speculation causes the time path of instantaneous utility to be discontinuous,

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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 194.

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Date of creation: 1981
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:fip:fedgif:194
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  1. Jeffrey D. Sachs, 1981. "The Current Account and macroeconomic Adjustment in the 1970s," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 12(1), pages 201-282.
  2. Hall, Robert E, 1978. "Stochastic Implications of the Life Cycle-Permanent Income Hypothesis: Theory and Evidence," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 86(6), pages 971-87, December.
  3. Dornbusch, Rudiger, 1983. "Real Interest Rates, Home Goods, and Optimal External Borrowing," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 91(1), pages 141-53, February.
  4. Rudiger Dornbusch & Paul Krugman, 1976. "Felxible Exchange Rates in the Short Run," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 7(3), pages 537-584.
  5. Hamada, Koichi, 1969. "Optimal Capital Accumulation by an Economy Facing an International Capital Market," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 77(4), pages 684-97, Part II, .
  6. Nancy Peregrim Marion, 1981. "Anticipated and Unanticipated Oil Price Increases and the Current Account," NBER Working Papers 0759, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  7. Obstfeld, Maurice, 1981. "Macroeconomic Policy, Exchange-Rate Dynamics, and Optimal Asset Accumulation," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 89(6), pages 1142-61, December.
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