IDEAS home Printed from
MyIDEAS: Login to save this paper or follow this series

Assessing International Efficiency

  • Jonathan Heathcote
  • Fabrizio Perri

This paper is structured in three parts. The first part outlines the methodological steps, involving both theoretical and empirical work, for assessing whether an observed allocation of resources across countries is efficient. The second part applies the methodology to the long-run allocation of capital and consumption in a large cross section of countries. We find that countries that grow faster in the long run also tend to save more both domestically and internationally. These facts suggest that either the long-run allocation of resources across countries is inefficient, or that there is a systematic relation between fast growth and preference for delayed consumption. The third part applies the methodology to the allocation of resources across developed countries at the business cycle frequency. Here we discuss how evidence on international quantity comovement, exchange rates, asset prices, and international portfolio holdings can be used to assess efficiency. Overall, quantities and portfolios appear consistent with efficiency, while evidence from prices is difficult to interpret using standard models. The welfare costs associated with an inefficient allocation of resources over the business cycle can be significant if shocks to relative country permanent income are large. In those cases partial financial liberalization can lower welfare.

If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.

File URL:
Download Restriction: Access to the full text is generally limited to series subscribers, however if the top level domain of the client browser is in a developing country or transition economy free access is provided. More information about subscriptions and free access is available at Free access is also available to older working papers.

As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to look for a different version under "Related research" (further below) or search for a different version of it.

Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 18956.

in new window

Date of creation: Apr 2013
Date of revision:
Publication status: published as Handbook of International Economics Volume 4, 2014, Pages 523–584 Handbook of International Economics Cover image Chapter 9 – Assessing International Efficiency * Jonathan Heathcotea, b, Fabrizio Perria, b, c
Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:18956
Contact details of provider: Postal: National Bureau of Economic Research, 1050 Massachusetts Avenue Cambridge, MA 02138, U.S.A.
Phone: 617-868-3900
Web page:

More information through EDIRC

References listed on IDEAS
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:

as in new window
  1. Rabanal, Pau & Rubio-Ramírez, Juan F., 2015. "Can international macroeconomic models explain low-frequency movements of real exchange rates?," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 96(1), pages 199-211.
  2. Tiago C. Berriel & Saroj Bhattarai, 2013. "Hedging against the Government: A Solution to the Home Asset Bias Puzzle," American Economic Journal: Macroeconomics, American Economic Association, vol. 5(1), pages 102-34, January.
  3. Pablo A. Neumeyer & Fabrizio Perri, 2001. "Business Cycles in Emerging Economies:The Role of Interest Rates," Working Papers 01-12, New York University, Leonard N. Stern School of Business, Department of Economics.
  4. Doireann Fitzgerald, 2012. "Trade Costs, Asset Market Frictions, and Risk Sharing," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 102(6), pages 2700-2733, October.
  5. 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.
  6. Coeurdacier, Nicolas, 2006. "Do Trade Costs in Goods Market Lead to Home Bias in Equities?," ESSEC Working Papers DR 06011, ESSEC Research Center, ESSEC Business School.
  7. Fernando Broner and Jaume Ventura, 2015. "Rethinking the Effects of Financial Liberalization," Working Papers 509, Barcelona Graduate School of Economics.
  8. Baxter, M. & Crucini, M., 1991. "Business Cycles and the Asset Structure of Foreign Trade," RCER Working Papers 316, University of Rochester - Center for Economic Research (RCER).
  9. repec:spo:wpecon:info:hdl:2441/c8dmi8nm4pdjkuc9g708n2m4m is not listed on IDEAS
  10. Nicolas Coeurdacier & Hélène Rey, 2010. "Home bias in open economy financial macroeconomics," Sciences Po publications info:hdl:2441/c8dmi8nm4pd, Sciences Po.
  11. V. V Chari & Patrick J. Kehoe & Ellen R. McGrattan, 2002. "Can Sticky Price Models Generate Volatile and Persistent Real Exchange Rates?," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 69(3), pages 533-563.
  12. Pierre-Olivier Gourinchas & Olivier Jeanne, 2003. "The Elusive Gains from International Financial Integration," NBER Working Papers 9684, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  13. Riccardo Colacito & Mariano M. Croce, 2010. "The Short and Long Run Benefits of Financial Integration," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 100(2), pages 527-31, May.
  14. Pakko, Michael R, 1997. "International Risk Sharing and Low Cross-Country Consumption Correlations: Are They Really Inconsistent?," Review of International Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 5(3), pages 386-400, August.
  15. Heathcote, Jonathan & Perri, Fabrizio, 2002. "Financial Globalization and Real Regionalization," CEPR Discussion Papers 3268, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  16. Lane, Philip R. & Milesi-Ferretti, Gian Maria, 2006. "The External Wealth of Nations Mark II: Revised and Extended Estimates of Foreign Assets and Liabilities, 1970-2004," CEPR Discussion Papers 5644, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  17. Hamilton, Bob & Whalley, John, 1984. "Efficiency and distributional implications of global restrictions on labour mobility : Calculations and policy implications," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 14(1), pages 61-75.
  18. Jonathan Heathcote & Fabrizio Perri, 2007. "The international diversification puzzle is not as bad as you think," Staff Report 398, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis.
  19. Marianne Baxter & Urban J. Jermann, 1995. "The International Diversification Puzzle is Worse Than You Think," NBER Working Papers 5019, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  20. Pakko, Michael R., 2004. "A spectral analysis of the cross-country consumption correlation puzzle," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 84(3), pages 341-347, September.
  21. repec:spo:wpmain:info:hdl:2441/c8dmi8nm4pdjkuc9g708n2m4m is not listed on IDEAS
  22. Nicolas Coeurdacier & Pierre-Olivier Gourinchas, 2015. "When Bonds Matter: Home Bias in Goods and Assets," Sciences Po publications info:hdl:2441/5djvq5crl99, Sciences Po.
  23. Damiano Sandri, 2014. "Growth and Capital Flows with Risky Entrepreneurship," American Economic Journal: Macroeconomics, American Economic Association, vol. 6(3), pages 102-23, July.
  24. Edith Liu & Karen Lewis, 2012. "International Consumption Risk Is Shared After All: An Asset Return View," 2012 Meeting Papers 643, Society for Economic Dynamics.
  25. Mark Aguiar & Gita Gopinath, 2004. "Emerging Market Business Cycles: The Cycle is the Trend," NBER Working Papers 10734, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  26. Kocherlakota, Narayana & Pistaferri, Luigi, 2007. "Household Heterogeneity and Real Exchange Rates," CEPR Discussion Papers 6192, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  27. Alberto Martin and Filippo Taddei, 2015. "International Capital Flows and Credit Market Imperfections: a Tale of Two Frictions," Working Papers 518, Barcelona Graduate School of Economics.
  28. Kim, Jinill & Kim, Sunghyun Henry, 2003. "Spurious welfare reversals in international business cycle models," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 60(2), pages 471-500, August.
  29. Patrick J. Kehoe & Fabrizio Perri, 2002. "International Business Cycles with Endogenous Incomplete Markets," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 70(3), pages 907-928, May.
  30. Martin Berka & Michael B. Devereux & Charles Engel, 2012. "Real Exchange Rate Adjustment in and out of the Eurozone," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 102(3), pages 179-85, May.
  31. Corsetti, Giancarlo & Dedola, Luca & Leduc, Sylvain, 2004. "International risk-sharing and the transmission of productivity shocks," Working Paper Series 0308, European Central Bank.
  32. 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.
  33. 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.
  34. Backus, David K & Kehoe, Patrick J, 1992. "International Evidence of the Historical Properties of Business Cycles," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 82(4), pages 864-88, September.
  35. Ravi Bansal & Amir Yaron, 2000. "Risks for the Long Run: A Potential Resolution of Asset Pricing Puzzles," NBER Working Papers 8059, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  36. David Backus & Patrick J. Kehoe & Finn E. Kydland, 1992. "Dynamics of the Trade Balance and the Terms of Trade: The S-Curve," NBER Working Papers 4242, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  37. Riccardo Colacito & Mariano Croce, 2005. "Risks For The Long Run And The Real Exchange Rate," 2005 Meeting Papers 794, Society for Economic Dynamics.
  38. Charles Engel & Akito Matsumoto, 2009. "The International Diversification Puzzle When Goods Prices Are Sticky: It's Really about Exchange-Rate Hedging, Not Equity Portfolios," American Economic Journal: Macroeconomics, American Economic Association, vol. 1(2), pages 155-88, July.
  39. Francesco Caselli, 2007. "The Marginal Product of Capital," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 122(2), pages 535-568, 05.
  40. Marianne Baxter, 2012. "International risk-sharing in the short run and in the long run," Canadian Journal of Economics, Canadian Economics Association, vol. 45(2), pages 376-393, May.
  41. Lucas, Robert E, Jr, 1990. "Why Doesn't Capital Flow from Rich to Poor Countries?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 80(2), pages 92-96, May.
  42. Ben S. Bernanke & Kenneth Rogoff, 2001. "NBER Macroeconomics Annual 2000, Volume 15," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number bern01-1, July.
  43. Charles Engel, 1999. "Accounting for U.S. Real Exchange Rate Changes," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 107(3), pages 507-538, June.
  44. Karen K. Lewis & Edith X. Liu, 2012. "International Consumption Risk Is Shared After All: An Asset Return View," NBER Working Papers 17872, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  45. Lewis, Karen K, 1996. "What Can Explain the Apparent Lack of International Consumption Risk Sharing?," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 104(2), pages 267-97, April.
  46. van Wincoop, Eric & Warnock, Francis E., 2010. "Can trade costs in goods explain home bias in assets?," Journal of International Money and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 29(6), pages 1108-1123, October.
  47. Laura Alfaro & Sebnem Kalemli-Ozcan & Vadym Volosovych, 2011. "Sovereigns, Upstream Capital Flows, and Global Imbalances," NBER Working Papers 17396, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  48. Ben S. Bernanke & Kenneth Rogoff, 2001. "Editorial in "NBER Macroeconomics Annual 2000, Volume 15"," NBER Chapters, in: NBER Macroeconomics Annual 2000, Volume 15, pages 1-4 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  49. M. Hadzi-Vaskov, 2007. "Does the Nominal Exchange Rate Explain the Backus-Smith Puzzle? Evidence from the Eurozone," Working Papers 07-32, Utrecht School of Economics.
  50. Lucas, Robert Jr., 1982. "Interest rates and currency prices in a two-country world," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 10(3), pages 335-359.
  51. Hess, Gregory & Shin, Kwanho, 2006. "Understanding the Backus-Smith Puzzle: It’s the (Nominal) Exchange Rate, Stupid," MPRA Paper 696, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  52. Emi Nakamura & Dmitriy Sergeyev & Jón Steinsson, 2012. "Growth-Rate and Uncertainty Shocks in Consumption: Cross-Country Evidence," NBER Working Papers 18128, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  53. Michael B. Devereux & Viktoria Hnatkovska, 2011. "Consumption Risk-Sharing and the Real Exchange Rate: Why does the Nominal Exchange Rate Make Such a Difference?," NBER Working Papers 17288, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  54. Epstein, Larry G & Zin, Stanley E, 1989. "Substitution, Risk Aversion, and the Temporal Behavior of Consumption and Asset Returns: A Theoretical Framework," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 57(4), pages 937-69, July.
  55. Aguiar, Mark & Gopinath, Gita, 2007. "Emerging Market Business Cycles: The Cycle is the Trend," Scholarly Articles 11988098, Harvard University Department of Economics.
  56. Francesca Viani, 2011. "International financial flows, real exchange rates and cross-border insurance," Banco de Espa�a Working Papers 1038, Banco de Espa�a.
Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:18956. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: ()

If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.

If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

This information is provided to you by IDEAS at the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis using RePEc data.