IDEAS home Printed from
   My bibliography  Save this paper

Productivities, Trade, and Relative Prices in a Ricardian World


  • Vahagn Galstyan

    () (Institute for International Integration Studies, Trinity College Dublin)


In an extended Ricardian model of trade, we study the effects of improving trade deficits on relative prices, and the relation between growth rates and real exchange rates. An improvement in the trade balance induces relative wages to overshoot their long-run value, placing downward pressure on the terms of trade of the same order of magnitude found in Armington type models. Once the pattern of specialization changes, some of the decline is reversed with a smaller value of long-run depreciation. We find that divergent growth rates do not cause distinct trends in the terms of trade. The result depends on the size of the non-tradable sector and the variability of industry-specific efficiencies. We also find that self-selection into export markets causes the relative price of non-traded goods to respond to demand re-balancing, giving birth to an endogenous Balassa-Samuelson effect. The model also suggests that in the long-run the stochastic variation of the real exchange rate is dominated by the volatility of the terms of trade.

Suggested Citation

  • Vahagn Galstyan, 2011. "Productivities, Trade, and Relative Prices in a Ricardian World," The Institute for International Integration Studies Discussion Paper Series iiisdp359, IIIS.
  • Handle: RePEc:iis:dispap:iiisdp359

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL:
    Download Restriction: no

    Other versions of this item:

    References listed on IDEAS

    1. James E. Anderson & Eric van Wincoop, 2004. "Trade Costs," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 42(3), pages 691-751, September.
    2. Christian Broda & David E. Weinstein, 2006. "Globalization and the Gains From Variety," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 121(2), pages 541-585.
    3. 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.
    4. Vahagn Galstyan & Philip R. Lane, 2008. "External Imbalances and the Extensive Margin of Trade," Economic Notes, Banca Monte dei Paschi di Siena SpA, vol. 37(3), pages 241-257, November.
    5. Obstfeld, Maurice & Rogoff, Kenneth, 1995. "The intertemporal approach to the current account," Handbook of International Economics,in: G. M. Grossman & K. Rogoff (ed.), Handbook of International Economics, edition 1, volume 3, chapter 34, pages 1731-1799 Elsevier.
    6. Charles Engel, 1999. "Accounting for U.S. Real Exchange Rate Changes," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 107(3), pages 507-538, June.
    7. Maurice Obstfeld & Kenneth S. Rogoff, 1996. "Foundations of International Macroeconomics," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262150476, January.
    8. Jonathan Eaton & Robert Dekle & Samuel Kortum, 2007. "Unbalanced Trade," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 97(2), pages 351-355, May.
    9. Feenstra, Robert C, 1994. "New Product Varieties and the Measurement of International Prices," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 84(1), pages 157-177, March.
    10. Gianluca Benigno & Christoph Thoenissen, 2003. "Equilibrium Exchange Rates and Supply-Side Performance," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 113(486), pages 103-124, March.
    11. Vahagn Galstyan & Philip R. Lane, 2009. "The Composition of Government Spending and the Real Exchange Rate," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 41(6), pages 1233-1249, September.
    12. Daron Acemoglu & Jaume Ventura, 2002. "The World Income Distribution," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 117(2), pages 659-694.
    13. Vahagn Galstyan, 2015. "Country Size and Exchange Rates," Economica, London School of Economics and Political Science, vol. 82(326), pages 222-235, April.
    14. Dornbusch, Rudiger & Fischer, Stanley & Samuelson, Paul A, 1977. "Comparative Advantage, Trade, and Payments in a Ricardian Model with a Continuum of Goods," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 67(5), pages 823-839, December.
    15. Tamim Bayoumi & Jaewoo Lee & Sarma Jayanthi, 2006. "New Rates from New Weights," IMF Staff Papers, Palgrave Macmillan, vol. 53(2), pages 1-4.
    16. 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.
    17. Bergin, Paul R., 2006. "How well can the New Open Economy Macroeconomics explain the exchange rate and current account?," Journal of International Money and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 25(5), pages 675-701, August.
    18. Carlin, Wendy & Soskice, David, 2005. "Macroeconomics: Imperfections, Institutions, and Policies," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780198776222, June.
    19. Corsetti, Giancarlo & Martin, Philippe & Pesenti, Paolo, 2013. "Varieties and the transfer problem," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 89(1), pages 1-12.
    20. Ehsan Choudhri & Antonio Marasco, 2013. "Heterogeneous Productivity and the Gains from Trade and FDI," Open Economies Review, Springer, vol. 24(2), pages 339-360, April.
    21. Houthakker, Hendrik S & Magee, Stephen P, 1969. "Income and Price Elasticities in World Trade," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 51(2), pages 111-125, May.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)


    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.

    Cited by:

    1. Vahagn Galstyan, 2011. "Terms of Trade in the Medium-run," The Institute for International Integration Studies Discussion Paper Series iiisdp382, IIIS.

    More about this item


    Trade re-balancing; Relative prices; Ricardian trade; Growth;

    JEL classification:

    • F10 - International Economics - - Trade - - - General
    • F32 - International Economics - - International Finance - - - Current Account Adjustment; Short-term Capital Movements
    • F41 - International Economics - - Macroeconomic Aspects of International Trade and Finance - - - Open Economy Macroeconomics
    • F43 - International Economics - - Macroeconomic Aspects of International Trade and Finance - - - Economic Growth of Open Economies


    Access and download statistics


    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:iis:dispap:iiisdp359. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Colette Keleher). General contact details of provider: .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.