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Characterizing cross-country consumption correlations

  • Michael R. Pakko

General equilibrium models of international fluctuations which assume complete asset markets predict that consumption will be highly correlated across countries, while the data display correlations which are rather low. It is common to characterize this empirical regularity by noting that cross-country consumption correlations tend to be lower than corresponding output correlations. This paper reconsiders that characterization and demonstrates that it is not particularly robust. The paper also documents a related regularity that is more pervasive: Consumption fluctuations are more highly correlated with domestic production than with world output. Implications for the evaluation of theoretical models are discussed.

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Paper provided by Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis in its series Working Papers with number 1994-026.

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Date of creation: 1994
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Publication status: Published in Review of Economics and Statistics, February 1998, 80(1), pp. 169-74
Handle: RePEc:fip:fedlwp:1994-026
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  1. David K. Backus & Patrick J. Kehoe & Finn E. Kydland, 1991. "International real business cycles," Staff Report 146, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis.
  2. King, Robert G. & Rebelo, Sergio T., 1993. "Low frequency filtering and real business cycles," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 17(1-2), pages 207-231.
  3. David K. Backus & Patrick J. Kehoe & Finn E. Kydland, 1993. "International Business Cycles: Theory and Evidence," Working Papers 93-21, New York University, Leonard N. Stern School of Business, Department of Economics.
  4. Backus, David K. & Smith, Gregor W., 1993. "Consumption and real exchange rates in dynamic economies with non-traded goods," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 35(3-4), pages 297-316, November.
  5. Lucas, Robert Jr., 1982. "Interest rates and currency prices in a two-country world," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 10(3), pages 335-359.
  6. Hodrick, Robert J & Prescott, Edward C, 1997. "Postwar U.S. Business Cycles: An Empirical Investigation," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 29(1), pages 1-16, February.
  7. Baxter, M. & Crucini, M.J., 1990. "Explaining Saving/Investment Correlation," RCER Working Papers 224, University of Rochester - Center for Economic Research (RCER).
  8. Michael B. Devereux & Allan W. Gregory & Gregor W. Smith, 1990. "Realistic Cross-Country Consumption Correlations in a Two-Country, Equilibrium, Business Cycle Model," Working Papers 774, Queen's University, Department of Economics.
  9. Marianne Baxter & Mario J. Crucini, 1994. "Business Cycles and the Asset Structure of Foreign Trade," NBER Working Papers 4975, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  10. Cantor, Richard & Mark, Nelson C, 1988. "The International Transmission of Real Business Cycles," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 29(3), pages 493-507, August.
  11. David K. Backus & Patrick J. Kehoe & Finn E. Kydland, 1993. "International business cycles: theory vs. evidence," Quarterly Review, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis, issue Fall, pages 14-29.
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