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North-South terms of trade: an empirical investigation


  • Michael A. Kouparitsas


My empirical analysis a reveals a strong link between the terms of trade of industrial and developing countries. I show that the terms of trade developing countries are essentially the relative prices of commodity exports and manufactured imports. Similarly, I find that terms of trade fluctuations of industrial countries are heavily influenced by movements in the relative price of manufactured exports and commodity imports. This means that improvements in the terms of trade of developing countries imply a worsening in the terms of trade of developing industrial countries, and vice versa. One example of this is the explosion of oil prices in the early 1970s. The terms of trade industrial countries worsened considerably, while the terms of trade of oil exporting countries improved dramatically. This episode led to a sizeable loss of income for industrial countries (of around 3 percent) and a sizeable gain in real income for oil exporting countries (of roughly 80 percent).

Suggested Citation

  • Michael A. Kouparitsas, 1997. "North-South terms of trade: an empirical investigation," Working Paper Series, Macroeconomic Issues WP-97-05, Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago.
  • Handle: RePEc:fip:fedhma:wp-97-05

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Engel, Charles, 1993. "Real exchange rates and relative prices : An empirical investigation," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 32(1), pages 35-50, August.
    2. Bleaney, Michael F & Greenaway, David, 1993. "Long-Run Trends in the Relative Price of Primary Commodities and in the Terms of Trade of Developing Countries," Oxford Economic Papers, Oxford University Press, vol. 45(3), pages 349-363, July.
    3. Cuddington, John T & Urzua, Carlos M, 1989. "Trends and Cycles in the Net Barter Terms of Trade: A New Approach," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 99(396), pages 426-442, June.
    4. Sapsford, David, 1990. "Primary Commodity Prices and the Terms of Trade," The Economic Record, The Economic Society of Australia, vol. 66(195), pages 342-356, December.
    5. Eduardo Borensztein & Carmen M. Reinhart, 1994. "The Macroeconomic Determinants of Commodity Prices," IMF Staff Papers, Palgrave Macmillan, vol. 41(2), pages 236-261, June.
    6. Rogers, John H. & Jenkins, Michael, 1995. "Haircuts or hysteresis? Sources of movements in real exchange rates," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 38(3-4), pages 339-360, May.
    7. Michael A. Kouparitsas, 1996. "North-South business cycles," Working Paper Series, Macroeconomic Issues WP-96-9, Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago.
    8. Reinhart, Carmen & Borensztein, Eduardo, 1994. "The Macroeconomic Determinants of Commodity Prices," MPRA Paper 6979, University Library of Munich, Germany.
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    Cited by:

    1. Peter Benczur & Attila Ratfai, 2010. "Economic fluctuations in Central and Eastern Europe: the facts," Applied Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 42(25), pages 3279-3292.
    2. Bidarkota, Prasad & Crucini, Mario J, 2000. "Commodity Prices and the Terms of Trade," Review of International Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 8(4), pages 647-666, November.
    3. Backus, David K. & Crucini, Mario J., 2000. "Oil prices and the terms of trade," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 50(1), pages 185-213, February.
    4. M. Ayhan Kose & Raymond Riezman, 2013. "Trade shocks and macroeconomic fluctuations in Africa," World Scientific Book Chapters,in: International Trade Agreements and Political Economy, chapter 19, pages 369-394 World Scientific Publishing Co. Pte. Ltd..
    5. Kose, M. Ayhan, 2002. "Explaining business cycles in small open economies: 'How much do world prices matter?'," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 56(2), pages 299-327, March.
    6. Agenor, Pierre-Richard & McDermott, C John & Prasad, Eswar S, 2000. "Macroeconomic Fluctuations in Developing Countries: Some Stylized Facts," World Bank Economic Review, World Bank Group, vol. 14(2), pages 251-285, May.
    7. Michael A. Kouparitsas, 1996. "North-South business cycles," Working Paper Series, Macroeconomic Issues WP-96-9, Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago.

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    Prices ; Business cycles ; International trade;


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