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Estimating Trade Elasticities: Demand Composition and the Trade Collapse of 2008-09


  • Matthieu Bussière
  • Giovanni Callegari
  • Fabio Ghironi
  • Giulia Sestieri
  • Norihiko Yamano


This paper introduces a new methodology for the estimation of demand trade elasticities based on an import intensity-adjusted measure of aggregate demand, with the foundation of a stylized theoretical model. We compute the import intensity of demand components by using the OECD Input-Output tables. We argue that the composition of demand plays a key role in trade dynamics because of the large movements in the most import-intensive categories of expenditure (especially investment, but also exports). We provide evidence in favor of these mechanisms for a panel of 18 OECD countries, paying particular attention to the 2008-09 Great Trade Collapse.

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  • Matthieu Bussière & Giovanni Callegari & Fabio Ghironi & Giulia Sestieri & Norihiko Yamano, 2011. "Estimating Trade Elasticities: Demand Composition and the Trade Collapse of 2008-09," NBER Working Papers 17712, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:17712
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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Giancarlo Corsetti & Luca Dedola & Sylvain Leduc, 2008. "International Risk Sharing and the Transmission of Productivity Shocks," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 75(2), pages 443-473.
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    3. Feenstra, Robert C., 2003. "A homothetic utility function for monopolistic competition models, without constant price elasticity," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 78(1), pages 79-86, January.
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    5. Hiau Looi Kee & Alessandro Nicita & Marcelo Olarreaga, 2008. "Import Demand Elasticities and Trade Distortions," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 90(4), pages 666-682, November.
    6. Chor, Davin & Manova, Kalina, 2012. "Off the cliff and back? Credit conditions and international trade during the global financial crisis," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 87(1), pages 117-133.
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    8. Robert C. Feenstra & Zhiyuan Li & Miaojie Yu, 2014. "Exports and Credit Constraints under Incomplete Information: Theory and Evidence from China," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 96(4), pages 729-744, October.
    9. Koen De Backer & Norihiko Yamano, 2007. "The Measurement of Globalisation using International Input-Output Tables," OECD Science, Technology and Industry Working Papers 2007/8, OECD Publishing.
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    12. Jonathan Eaton & Samuel Kortum & Brent Neiman & John Romalis, 2016. "Trade and the Global Recession," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 106(11), pages 3401-3438, November.
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    16. George Alessandria & Joseph P. Kaboski & Virgiliu Midrigan, 2010. "The great trade collapse of 2008-2009: an inventory adjustment?," Working Papers 10-18, Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia.
    17. Johnson, Robert C. & Noguera, Guillermo, 2012. "Accounting for intermediates: Production sharing and trade in value added," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 86(2), pages 224-236.
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    JEL classification:

    • F10 - International Economics - - Trade - - - General
    • F15 - International Economics - - Trade - - - Economic Integration
    • F17 - International Economics - - Trade - - - Trade Forecasting and Simulation
    • F4 - International Economics - - Macroeconomic Aspects of International Trade and Finance

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