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Exchange rate variability and the level of international trade

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  • Joseph E. Gagnon

Abstract

There have been numerous theoretical and empirical studies of the effect of exchange rate variability on the level of international trade. Most theoretical studies have concluded that under reasonable assumptions exchange rate variability ought to depress the level of trade. Empirical studies generally have not identified a significant effect of exchange rate variability on trade flows. This paper builds a theoretical model in which exchange rate variability has a negative effect on the level of trade. The model is calibrated to observed trade flows and real exchange rates. Simulation of the model demonstrates that the effect of increasing exchange rate variability on trade flows is very small. These results are not sensitive to a wide range of parameter values. Moreover, reasonable extensions of the model only serve to minimize further the effect of exchange rate variability on trade flows.

Suggested Citation

  • Joseph E. Gagnon, 1989. "Exchange rate variability and the level of international trade," International Finance Discussion Papers 369, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
  • Handle: RePEc:fip:fedgif:369
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Lucas, Robert E, Jr & Prescott, Edward C, 1971. "Investment Under Uncertainty," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 39(5), pages 659-681, September.
    2. Giovannini, Alberto, 1988. "Exchange rates and traded goods prices," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 24(1-2), pages 45-68, February.
    3. Peter B. Clark, 1973. "Uncertainty, Exchange Risk, And The Level Of International Trade," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 11(3), pages 302-313, September.
    4. Hansen, Lars Peter & Sargent, Thomas J., 1980. "Formulating and estimating dynamic linear rational expectations models," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 2(1), pages 7-46, May.
    5. Baldwin, Richard, 1988. "Hyteresis in Import Prices: The Beachhead Effect," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 78(4), pages 773-785, September.
    6. Leland, Hayne E, 1972. "Theory of the Firm Facing Uncertain Demand," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 62(3), pages 278-291, June.
    7. Avinash Dixit, 1989. "Hysteresis, Import Penetration, and Exchange Rate Pass-Through," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 104(2), pages 205-228.
    8. Gagnon, Joseph E., 1989. "Adjustment costs and international trade dynamics," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 26(3-4), pages 327-344, May.
    9. Victoria S. Farrell & Dean A. DeRosa & T. Ashby McCown, 1983. "Effects of exchange rate variability on international trade and other economic variables : a review of the literature," Staff Studies 130, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
    10. Wilbur John Coleman, 1989. "An algorithm to solve dynamic models," International Finance Discussion Papers 351, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
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