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Co-Fluctuations

  • Jean IMBS

This paper studies the determinants of the international synchronization of business cycles. Surprisingly, countries that trade more do not appear to have more synchronized cycles once other factors are accounted for. On the other hand, the extent of co-fluctuations increases quite robustly with the income level, so that two rich countries are unconditionally more synchronized. We develop a model where this happens because the world moves from an unstable steady state with full international specialization to a stable symmetric one. Similar countries produce similar goods and as a result experience sectoral shocks that are of equal importance. By contrast, different income levels reflect differences in production patterns, where the North produces manufactures and the South agricultural goods. Since there is no particular reason why stochastic developments in those two sectors should be correlated with one another, we should expect less cyclical comovement between a rich and a poor country. Finally, the model is consistent with the tendency for trade amongst developed countries to be mostly intra-industry.

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Paper provided by Université de Lausanne, Faculté des HEC, DEEP in its series Cahiers de Recherches Economiques du Département d'Econométrie et d'Economie politique (DEEP) with number 9819.

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Length: 31 pages
Date of creation: Nov 1998
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:lau:crdeep:9819
Contact details of provider: Postal: Université de Lausanne, Faculté des HEC, DEEP, Internef, CH-1015 Lausanne
Phone: ++41 21 692.33.64
Fax: ++41 21 692.33.05
Web page: http://www.hec.unil.ch/deep/publications/cahiers/series
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  1. Stockman, Alan C., 1988. "Sectoral and national aggregate disturbances to industrial output in seven European countries," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 21(2-3), pages 387-409.
  2. Krugman, Paul, 1991. "Increasing Returns and Economic Geography," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 99(3), pages 483-99, June.
  3. Canova, Fabio, 1993. "Sources and Propagation of International Business Cycles: Common Shocks or Transmission?," CEPR Discussion Papers 781, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
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  5. Kraay, Aart & Ventura, Jaume, 1995. "Trade and fluctuations," Policy Research Working Paper Series 1560, The World Bank.
  6. Jean IMBS, 1998. "Fluctuations, Bilateral Trade and the Exchange Rate Regime," Cahiers de Recherches Economiques du Département d'Econométrie et d'Economie politique (DEEP) 9906, Université de Lausanne, Faculté des HEC, DEEP, revised Nov 1998.
  7. Krugman, Paul & Venables, Anthony J, 1993. "Integration, Specialization and Adjustment," CEPR Discussion Papers 886, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  8. Canova, Fabio & Dellas, Harris, 1993. "Trade interdependence and the international business cycle," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 34(1-2), pages 23-47, February.
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  10. Ambler, Steve & Cardia, Emanuela & Zimmermann, Christian, 2002. "International transmission of the business cycle in a multi-sector model," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 46(2), pages 273-300, February.
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  17. Frankel, Jeffrey A & Rose, Andrew K, 1998. "The Endogeneity of the Optimum Currency Area Criteria," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 108(449), pages 1009-25, July.
  18. Mario Forni & Lucrezia Reichlin, 2001. "Federal policies and local economies: Europe and the U.S," ULB Institutional Repository 2013/10141, ULB -- Universite Libre de Bruxelles.
  19. Eduardo Borensztein & Jose De Gregorio & Jong-Wha Lee, 1995. "How Does Foreign Direct Investment Affect Economic Growth?," NBER Working Papers 5057, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  20. Kollmann, Robert, 1995. "The correlation of productivity growth across regions and industries in the United States," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 47(3-4), pages 437-443, March.
  21. Shang-Jin Wei & Jeffrey A. Frankel, 1995. "Open Regionalism in a World of Continental Trade Blocs," NBER Working Papers 5272, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  22. Robert Kollmann, 2001. "Explaining international comovements of output and asset returns: the role of money and nominal rigidities," ULB Institutional Repository 2013/7632, ULB -- Universite Libre de Bruxelles.
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  24. Baxter, Marianne, 1995. "International trade and business cycles," Handbook of International Economics, in: G. M. Grossman & K. Rogoff (ed.), Handbook of International Economics, edition 1, volume 3, chapter 35, pages 1801-1864 Elsevier.
  25. 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.
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