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Productive capacity, product varieties, and the elasticities approach to the trade balance

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  • Joseph E. Gagnon

Abstract

Most macroeconomic models imply that faster output growth tends to lower a country's trade balance by raising its imports with little change to its exports. Krugman (1989) proposed a model in which countries grow by producing new varieties of goods. In his model, faster-growing countries are able to export these new goods and maintain balanced trade without suffering any deterioration in their terms of trade. This paper analyzes the growth of U.S. imports from different source countries and finds strong support for Krugman's model.

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  • Joseph E. Gagnon, 2003. "Productive capacity, product varieties, and the elasticities approach to the trade balance," International Finance Discussion Papers 781, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
  • Handle: RePEc:fip:fedgif:781
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    Cited by:

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    2. Jean Imbs & Isabelle Mejean, 2015. "Elasticity Optimism," American Economic Journal: Macroeconomics, American Economic Association, vol. 7(3), pages 43-83, July.
    3. Michal Rubaszek, 2009. "Economic convergence and the fundamental equilibrium exchange rate in Poland," Bank i Kredyt, Narodowy Bank Polski, vol. 40(1), pages 7-22.
    4. Charlotte Emlinger & Sébastien Jean & Vincent Vicard, 2019. "L’étonnante atonie des exportations françaises : retour sur la compétitivité et ses déterminants," CEPII Policy Brief 2019-24, CEPII research center.
    5. Jean Imbs & Isabelle Mejean, 2017. "Trade Elasticities," Review of International Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 25(2), pages 383-402, May.
    6. Fabio Ghironi & Marc J. Melitz, 2005. "International Trade and Macroeconomic Dynamics with Heterogeneous Firms," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 120(3), pages 865-915.
    7. Rubaszek, Michal & Rawdanowicz, Lukasz, 2009. "Economic convergence and the fundamental equilibrium exchange rate in central and eastern Europe," International Review of Financial Analysis, Elsevier, vol. 18(5), pages 277-284, December.
    8. Maurice Obstfeld & Kenneth Rogoff, 2007. "The Unsustainable U.S. Current Account Position Revisited," NBER Chapters, in: G7 Current Account Imbalances: Sustainability and Adjustment, pages 339-376, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    9. Giancarlo Corsetti & Philippe Martin & Paolo Pesenti, 2008. "Varieties and the Transfer Problem: The Extensive Margin of Current Account Adjustment," RSCAS Working Papers 2008/01, European University Institute.
    10. Massimiliano Serati, 2008. "Trade and quality: theoretical and empirical evidence for the euro zone," LIUC Papers in Economics 206, Cattaneo University (LIUC).
    11. Janet Ceglowski, 2014. "Has Trade Become More Responsive to Income? Assessing the Evidence for US Imports," Open Economies Review, Springer, vol. 25(2), pages 225-241, April.
    12. Desirée Van Welsum, 2004. "In Search of ‘Offshoring’: Evidence from U.S. Imports of Services," Birkbeck Working Papers in Economics and Finance 0402, Birkbeck, Department of Economics, Mathematics & Statistics.
    13. Menzie D. Chinn, 2005. "Supply Capacity, Vertical Specialization and Tariff Rates: The Implications for Aggregate U.S. Trade Flow Equations," NBER Working Papers 11719, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    14. Cécile Denis & Kieran Mc Morrow & Werner Röger, 2006. "Globalisation : trends, issues and macro implications for the EU," European Economy - Economic Papers 2008 - 2015 254, Directorate General Economic and Financial Affairs (DG ECFIN), European Commission.
    15. Corsetti, Giancarlo & Martin, Philippe & Pesenti, Paolo, 2013. "Varieties and the transfer problem," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 89(1), pages 1-12.

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