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The Response of the Current Account to Terms of Trade Shocks; Persistence Matters

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  • Paul Cashin
  • Christopher J. Kent

Abstract

Is the relationship between the current account balance and the terms of trade affected by the persistence of terms of trade shocks? In intertemporal models of the current account that incorporate a consumption-smoothing and an investment response to shocks, the effect of the terms of trade on external balances is predicted to be dependent on the duration of terms of trade shocks. Using a median-unbiased estimator, an unbiased model-selection rule, and terms of trade data for 128 countries over the period 1960-99 we identify two groups of countries-those that typically experience temporary terms of trade shocks and those that typically experience permanent terms of trade shocks. The results from panel-data regressions of the two groups of countries support the theoretical predictions of the intertemporal approach to the current account. We find that the greater (lesser) the persistence of the terms of trade shock, the more (less) the investment effect dominates the consumption-smoothing effect on saving, so that the current account balance moves in the opposite (same) direction as that of the shock.

Suggested Citation

  • Paul Cashin & Christopher J. Kent, 2003. "The Response of the Current Account to Terms of Trade Shocks; Persistence Matters," IMF Working Papers 03/143, International Monetary Fund.
  • Handle: RePEc:imf:imfwpa:03/143
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    Cited by:

    1. Eiriksson, Agust A., 2011. "The saving-investment correlation and origins of productivity shocks," Japan and the World Economy, Elsevier, vol. 23(1), pages 40-47, January.
    2. repec:eee:reveco:v:54:y:2018:i:c:p:103-122 is not listed on IDEAS
    3. Vansteenkiste, Isabel & Nickel, Christiane, 2008. "Fiscal policies, the current account and Ricardian equivalence," Working Paper Series 935, European Central Bank.
    4. Christian Gillitzer & Jonathan Kearns, 2005. "Long-term Patterns in Australia’s Terms of Trade," RBA Research Discussion Papers rdp2005-01, Reserve Bank of Australia.
    5. Paul Cashin & Samya Beidas-Strom, 2011. "Are Middle Eastern Current Account Imbalances Excessive?," IMF Working Papers 11/195, International Monetary Fund.
    6. Ryota Nakatani, 2017. "External Adjustment in a Resource-Rich Economy: The Case of Papua New Guinea," IMF Working Papers 17/267, International Monetary Fund.
    7. Graciela L Kaminsky, 2010. "Terms of Trade Shocks and Fiscal Cycles," RBA Annual Conference Volume,in: Renée Fry & Callum Jones & Christopher Kent (ed.), Inflation in an Era of Relative Price Shocks Reserve Bank of Australia.
    8. Chen Fang & Po-Sheng Lin, 2013. "Traded Bond Denominations, Shock Persistence and Current Account Dynamics: Another Look at the Harberger–Laursen–Metzler Effect," Pacific Economic Review, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 18(4), pages 502-529, October.
    9. Araujo, Juliana D. & Li, Bin Grace & Poplawski-Ribeiro, Marcos & Zanna, Luis-Felipe, 2016. "Current account norms in natural resource rich and capital scarce economies," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 120(C), pages 144-156.
    10. Piotr Misztal, 2010. "The Harberger-Laursen-Metzler Effect. Theory and Practice in Poland," Romanian Economic Journal, Department of International Business and Economics from the Academy of Economic Studies Bucharest, vol. 13(38), pages 129-146, December.
    11. Diego Bastourre & Jorge Carrera & Javier Ibarlucia, 2008. "Commodity Prices in Argentina: What Moves the Wind?," Ensayos Económicos, Central Bank of Argentina, Economic Research Department, vol. 1(51), pages 43-81, April - S.
    12. Adler, Gustavo & Magud, Nicolas E. & Werner, Alejandro, 2018. "Terms-of-trade cycles and external adjustment," International Review of Economics & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 54(C), pages 103-122.
    13. Tarlok Singh, 2007. "Intertemporal Optimizing Models Of Trade And Current Account Balance: A Survey," Journal of Economic Surveys, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 21(1), pages 25-64, February.
    14. Luis N. Lanteri, 2015. "Efecto Harberger-Laursen-Metzler. Evidencia para Argentina (1986-2014)," Economic Analysis Working Papers (2002-2010). Atlantic Review of Economics (2011-2016), Colexio de Economistas de A Coruña, Spain and Fundación Una Galicia Moderna, vol. 1, pages 1-1, December.
    15. César R. Sobrino, 2011. "Current account, productivity and terms of trade shocks in Norway," Applied Economics Letters, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 18(18), pages 1745-1750, December.
    16. Diego N. Moccero, 2008. "The intertemporal approach to the current account: Evidence for Argentina," Journal of Applied Economics, Universidad del CEMA, vol. 11, pages 327-353, November.
    17. Chowdhury, Abdur, 2015. "Terms of trade shocks and private savings in the developing countries," Journal of Comparative Economics, Elsevier, vol. 43(4), pages 1122-1134.
    18. Gonzalo Hernández, 2011. "Terms of Trade and Output Fluctuations in Colombia," UMASS Amherst Economics Working Papers 2011-04, University of Massachusetts Amherst, Department of Economics.
    19. Narayan, Seema, 2013. "A structural VAR model of the Fiji Islands," Economic Modelling, Elsevier, vol. 31(C), pages 238-244.

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