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Trade Wedges, Inventories, and International Business Cycles

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  • George Alessandria
  • Joseph Kaboski
  • Virgiliu Midrigan

Abstract

The large, persistent fluctuations in international trade that can not be explained in standard models by changes in expenditures and relative prices are often attributed to trade wedges. We show that these trade wedges can reflect the decisions of importers to change their inventory holdings. We find that a two-country model of international business cycles with an inventory management decision can generate trade flows and wedges consistent with the data. Moreover, matching trade flows alters the international transmission of business cycles. Specifically, real net exports become countercyclical and consumption is less correlated across countries than in standard models. We also show that ignoring inventories as a source of trade wedges substantially overstates the role of trade wedges in business cycle fluctuations.

Suggested Citation

  • George Alessandria & Joseph Kaboski & Virgiliu Midrigan, 2012. "Trade Wedges, Inventories, and International Business Cycles," NBER Working Papers 18191, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:18191
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. George Alessandria & Joseph P. Kaboski & Virgiliu Midrigan, 2010. "Inventories, Lumpy Trade, and Large Devaluations," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 100(5), pages 2304-2339, December.
    2. Backus, David K & Kehoe, Patrick J & Kydland, Finn E, 1994. "Dynamics of the Trade Balance and the Terms of Trade: The J-Curve?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 84(1), pages 84-103, March.
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    4. George Alessandria & Horag Choi, 2007. "Do Sunk Costs of Exporting Matter for Net Export Dynamics?," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 122(1), pages 289-336.
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    13. Alessandria, George & Kaboski, Joseph & Midrigan, Virgiliu, 2013. "Trade wedges, inventories, and international business cycles," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 60(1), pages 1-20.
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    As found by EconAcademics.org, the blog aggregator for Economics research:
    1. Trade Wedges, Inventories, and International Business Cycles
      by Christian Zimmermann in NEP-DGE blog on 2012-07-10 19:10:47

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    Cited by:

    1. Iossifov, Plamen, 2014. "Cross-border production chains and business cycle co-movement between Central and Eastern European countries and euro area member states," Working Paper Series 1628, European Central Bank.
    2. Alessandria, George & Kaboski, Joseph & Midrigan, Virgiliu, 2013. "Trade wedges, inventories, and international business cycles," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 60(1), pages 1-20.
    3. Arne J. Nagengast & Robert Stehrer, 2016. "The Great Collapse in Value Added Trade," Review of International Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 24(2), pages 392-421, May.
    4. Yuko Imura & Julia Thomas, 2015. "International Transmission of Credit Shocks in an Equilibrium Model with Production Heterogeneity," Staff Working Papers 15-19, Bank of Canada.
    5. Renzo Alvarez & Amin Shoja & Syed Uddin & Hakan Yilmazkuday, 2018. "Daily Exchange Rate Pass-through into Micro Prices," Working Papers 1803, Florida International University, Department of Economics.
    6. Alberto Cavallo & Brent Neiman & Roberto Rigobon, 2014. "Currency Unions, Product Introductions, and the Real Exchange Rate," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 129(2), pages 529-595.
    7. repec:eee:inecon:v:106:y:2017:i:c:p:143-164 is not listed on IDEAS
    8. Alok Johri & Terry Yip, 2015. "Financial Shocks, Customer Capital and the Trade Collapse of 2008-2009," Department of Economics Working Papers 2015-13, McMaster University, revised Sep 2015.
    9. Hirata, Hideaki, 2014. "Preference shocks, international frictions, and international business cycles," Journal of Asian Economics, Elsevier, vol. 34(C), pages 92-104.
    10. Rudolfs Bems & Robert C. Johnson & Kei-Mu Yi, 2013. "The Great Trade Collapse," Annual Review of Economics, Annual Reviews, vol. 5(1), pages 375-400, May.
    11. Epstein, Brendan & Finkelstein Shapiro, Alan & Gonzalez Gomez, Andres, 2018. "Global Financial Risk, Domestic Financial Access, and Unemployment Dynamics," MPRA Paper 88692, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    12. Joseph Steinberg, . "On the Source of U.S. Trade Deficits: Global Saving Glut or Domestic Saving Drought?," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics.
    13. Alessandria, George & Choi, Horag & Kaboski, Joseph P. & Midrigan, Virgiliu, 2015. "Microeconomic uncertainty, international trade, and aggregate fluctuations," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 69(C), pages 20-38.
    14. Chakraborty, Indraneel & Hai, Rong & Holter, Hans A. & Stepanchuk, Serhiy, 2017. "The real effects of financial (dis)integration: A multi-country equilibrium analysis of Europe," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 85(C), pages 28-45.
    15. Ready, Robert & Roussanov, Nikolai & Ward, Colin, 2017. "After the tide: Commodity currencies and global trade," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 85(C), pages 69-86.
    16. Miyamoto, Wataru & Nguyen, Thuy Lan, 2017. "Understanding the cross-country effects of U.S. technology shocks," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 106(C), pages 143-164.
    17. Sarte, Pierre-Daniel & Schwartzman, Felipe & Lubik, Thomas A., 2015. "What inventory behavior tells us about how business cycles have changed," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 76(C), pages 264-283.
    18. Horag Choi & George Alessandria, 2016. "The Dynamics of the U.S. Trade Balance and the Real Exchange Rate: The J Curve and Trade Costs?," 2016 Meeting Papers 1539, Society for Economic Dynamics.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • F41 - International Economics - - Macroeconomic Aspects of International Trade and Finance - - - Open Economy Macroeconomics
    • F44 - International Economics - - Macroeconomic Aspects of International Trade and Finance - - - International Business Cycles

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