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Export Instability and the External Balance in Developing Countries

  • Atish R. Ghosh
  • Jonathan David Ostry

Uncertainty about the export earnings accruing to a country (sometimes referred to as export instability) is an important source of macroeconomic uncertainty in many developing countries. Theory predicts that countries should react to increases in this form of uncertainty by increasing their level of savings. The resulting asset accumulations would then act as the country’s insurance against the greater riskiness in its income stream. The paper tests this implication for a large sample of developing countries. In general, the results suggest that developing countries have indeed responded to increases in export instability by building up precautionary savings balances.

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Paper provided by International Monetary Fund in its series IMF Working Papers with number 94/8.

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Length: 30
Date of creation: 01 Jan 1994
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:imf:imfwpa:94/8
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  1. Jonathan D. Ostry, 1988. "The Balance of Trade, Terms of Trade, and Real Exchange Rate: An Intertemporal Optimizing Framework," IMF Staff Papers, Palgrave Macmillan, vol. 35(4), pages 541-573, December.
  2. Jonathan David Ostry & Carmen Reinhart, 1991. "Private Saving and Terms of Trade Shocks: Evidence From Developing Countries," IMF Working Papers 91/100, International Monetary Fund.
  3. Peter Wickham & Carmen Reinhart, 1994. "Commodity Prices: Cyclical Weakness or Secular Decline?," IMF Working Papers 94/7, International Monetary Fund.
  4. Sandmo, Agnar, 1970. "The Effect of Uncertainty on Saving Decisions," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 37(3), pages 353-60, July.
  5. John Y. Campbell, 1986. "Does Saving Anticipate Declining Labor Income? An Alternative Test of the Permanent Income Hypothesis," NBER Working Papers 1805, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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