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Terms of Trade Shocks and the Current Account

  • Paul Cashin
  • C. John McDermott

This paper examines the relationship between terms of trade shocks, private saving, and the current account position. The relationship between these variables is theoretically ambiguous: an adverse transitory terms of trade shock can either induce a deterioration or an improvement in the current account, depending on whether the resulting income effects are greater or less than the resulting substitution effects. The substitution effects involve both intertemporally substituting consumption and intratemporally substituting consumption between importables and nontradables. The relative strength of these substitution effects is estimated using data for five OECD countries during 1970/95; both are found to exert large and significant effects on the current account balance.

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Paper provided by International Monetary Fund in its series IMF Working Papers with number 98/177.

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Length: 40
Date of creation: 01 Dec 1998
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:imf:imfwpa:98/177
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  1. Cashin, P., 1996. "Are Australia's Current Account deficits Excessive?," Department of Economics - Working Papers Series 533, The University of Melbourne.
  2. Svensson, Lars E O & Razin, Assaf, 1983. "The Terms of Trade and the Current Account: The Harberger-Laursen-Metzler Effect," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 91(1), pages 97-125, February.
  3. Masao Ogaki & Carmen M. Reinhart, 1998. "Measuring Intertemporal Substitution: The Role of Durable Goods," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 106(5), pages 1078-1098, October.
  4. Reinhart, Carmen & Wickham, Peter, 1994. "Non-oil commodity prices: Cyclical weakness or secular decline?," MPRA Paper 13871, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  5. Rudiger Dornbusch, 1981. "Real Interest Rates, Home Goods, and Optimal External Borrowing," NBER Working Papers 0779, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  6. Reinhart, Carmen & Ostry, Jonathan, 1992. "Saving and Terms of Trade Shocks: Evidence from Developing Countries," MPRA Paper 6976, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  7. Hall, Robert E, 1988. "Intertemporal Substitution in Consumption," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 96(2), pages 339-57, April.
  8. Olivier Jean Blanchard & Danny Quah, 1988. "The Dynamic Effects of Aggregate Demand and Supply Disturbances," NBER Working Papers 2737, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  9. Maurice Obstfeld & Kenneth S. Rogoff, 1996. "Foundations of International Macroeconomics," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262150476, June.
  10. Partha Sen & Stephen J. Turnovsky, 1988. "Deterioration of the Terms of Trade and Capital Accumulation: A Reexamination of the Laursen-Metzler Effect," NBER Working Papers 2616, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  11. Edwards, Sebastian, 1989. "Temporary Terms-of-Trade Disturbances, the Real Exchange Rate and the Current Account," Economica, London School of Economics and Political Science, vol. 56(223), pages 343-57, August.
  12. Cochrane, John H, 1988. "How Big Is the Random Walk in GNP?," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 96(5), pages 893-920, October.
  13. David K. Backus & Patrick J. Kehoe & Finn E. Kydland, 1992. "Relative Price Movements in Dynamic General Equilibrium Models of International Trade," Working Papers 92-25, New York University, Leonard N. Stern School of Business, Department of Economics.
  14. Cooley, Thomas F & Ogaki, Masao, 1996. "A Time Series Analysis of Real Wages, Consumption, and Asset Returns," Journal of Applied Econometrics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 11(2), pages 119-34, March-Apr.
  15. Hansen, Lars Peter, 1982. "Large Sample Properties of Generalized Method of Moments Estimators," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 50(4), pages 1029-54, July.
  16. Jeffrey D. Sachs, 1981. "The Current Account and macroeconomic Adjustment in the 1970s," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 12(1), pages 201-282.
  17. Hahm, Joon-Ho, 1998. "Consumption adjustment to real interest rates: Intertemporal substitution revisited," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 22(2), pages 293-320, February.
  18. Atkeson, Andrew & Ogaki, Masao, 1996. "Wealth-varying intertemporal elasticities of substitution: Evidence from panel and aggregate data," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 38(3), pages 507-534, December.
  19. Beveridge, Stephen & Nelson, Charles R., 1981. "A new approach to decomposition of economic time series into permanent and transitory components with particular attention to measurement of the `business cycle'," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 7(2), pages 151-174.
  20. Greenwood, Jeremy, 1983. "Expectations, the exchange rate, and the current account," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 12(4), pages 543-569, November.
  21. Ghosh, Atish R, 1995. "International Capital Mobility amongst the Major Industrialised Countries: Too Little or Too Much?," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 105(428), pages 107-28, January.
  22. Ahmed, Shaghil & Park, Jae Ha, 1994. "Sources of macroeconomic fluctuations in small open economies," Journal of Macroeconomics, Elsevier, vol. 16(1), pages 1-36.
  23. Gavin, Michael, 1990. "Structural adjustment to a terms of trade disturbance : The role of relative prices," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 28(3-4), pages 217-243, May.
  24. Goldstein, Morris & Officer, Lawrence H, 1979. "New Measures of Prices and Productivity for Tradable and Nontradable Goods," Review of Income and Wealth, International Association for Research in Income and Wealth, vol. 25(4), pages 413-27, December.
  25. Maurice Obstfeld, 1981. "Aggregate Spending and the Terms of Trade: Is There a Laursen-Metzler Effect?," NBER Working Papers 0686, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  26. Reinhart, Carmen & Ostry, Jonathan, 1991. "Private Saving and Terms of Trade Shocks," MPRA Paper 13716, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  27. Giovannini, Alberto, 1985. "Saving and the real interest rate in LDCs," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 18(2-3), pages 197-217, August.
  28. Patterson, Kerry D & Pesaran, Bahram, 1992. "The Intertemporal Elasticity of Substitution in Consumption in the United States and the United Kingdom," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 74(4), pages 573-84, November.
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