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Traded and Nontraded Goods Prices, and International Risk Sharing: an Empirical Investigation

  • Giancarlo Corsetti
  • Luca Dedola
  • Francesca Viani

Accounting for the pervasive evidence of limited international risk sharing is an important hurdle for open-economy models, especially when these are adopted in the analysis of policy trade-offs likely to be affected by imperfections in financial markets. Key to the literature is the evidence, at odds with efficiency, that consumption is relatively high in countries where its international relative price (the real exchange rate) is also high. We reconsider the relation between cross-country consumption differentials and real exchange rates, by decomposing it into two components, reflecting the prices of tradable and nontradable goods, respectively. We document that, as a common pattern among OECD countries, both components tend to contribute to the overall lack of risk sharing, with the tradable price component playing the dominant role in accounting for efficiency deviations. We relate these findings to two mechanisms proposed by the literature to reconcile open economy models with the data. One features strong Balassa-Samuelson effects on nontradable prices due to productivity gains in the tradable sector, with a muted offsetting response of tradable prices. The other, endogenous income effects causing nontradable but especially tradable prices to appreciate with a rise in domestic consumption demand.

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Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 17501.

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Date of creation: Oct 2011
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Publication status: published as Giancarlo Corsetti & Luca Dedola & Francesca Viani, 2012. "Traded and Nontraded Goods Prices, and International Risk Sharing: An Empirical Investigation," NBER International Seminar on Macroeconomics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 8(1), pages 403 - 466.
Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:17501
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  1. Giancarlo Corsetti & Luca Dedola & Sylvain Leduc, 2009. "The international dimension of productivity and demand shocks in the U.S. economy," Working Paper Series 2009-09, Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco.
  2. Engel, C., 1996. "Accounting for U.S. Real Exchange Rate Changes," Discussion Papers in Economics at the University of Washington 96-02, Department of Economics at the University of Washington.
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  9. Federico Mandelman & Pau Rabanal & Juan Francisco Rubio-Ramirez & Diego Vilan, 2011. "Investment Specific Technology Shocks and International Business Cycles: An Empirical Assessment," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 14(1), pages 136-155, January.
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  11. Cole, Harold L. & Obstfeld, Maurice, 1991. "Commodity trade and international risk sharing : How much do financial markets matter?," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 28(1), pages 3-24, August.
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  13. Kocherlakota, Narayana & Pistaferri, Luigi, 2007. "Household Heterogeneity and Real Exchange Rates," CEPR Discussion Papers 6192, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
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  18. Kollmann, Robert, 1995. "Consumption, real exchange rates and the structure of international asset markets," Journal of International Money and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 14(2), pages 191-211, April.
  19. Corsetti, Giancarlo & Dedola, Luca & Leduc, Sylvain, 2008. "High exchange-rate volatility and low pass-through," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 55(6), pages 1113-1128, September.
  20. David K. Backus & Gregor W. Smith, 1993. "Consumption and Real Exchange Rates in Dynamic Economies with Non-Traded Goods," Working Papers 1252, Queen's University, Department of Economics.
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  23. Deokwoo Nam & Jian Wang, 2010. "Understanding the effect of productivity changes on international relative prices: the role of news shocks," Globalization and Monetary Policy Institute Working Paper 61, Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas.
  24. Brandt, Michael W. & Cochrane, John H. & Santa-Clara, Pedro, 2006. "International risk sharing is better than you think, or exchange rates are too smooth," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 53(4), pages 671-698, May.
  25. Luis Opazo, 2006. "The Backus-Smith Puzzle: The Role of Expectations," Working Papers Central Bank of Chile 395, Central Bank of Chile.
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