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How Important Are Terms Of Trade Shocks?

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  • Stephanie Schmitt-Grohé
  • Martín Uribe

Abstract

According to conventional wisdom, terms of trade shocks represent a major source of business cycles in emerging and poor countries. This view is largely based on the analysis of calibrated business-cycle models. We argue that the view that emerges from empirical SVAR models is strikingly different. We estimate country-specific SVARs using data from 38 emerging and countries and find that terms-of-trade shocks explain less than 10 percent of movements in aggregate activity. We then build a three-sector open economy model and estimate key structural parameters country by country. We find that at the country level there is a disconnect between the empirical and theoretical models in the importance assigned to terms-of-trade shocks.

Suggested Citation

  • Stephanie Schmitt-Grohé & Martín Uribe, 2015. "How Important Are Terms Of Trade Shocks?," NBER Working Papers 21253, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:21253
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    1. Mendoza, Enrique G, 1995. "The Terms of Trade, the Real Exchange Rate, and Economic Fluctuations," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 36(1), pages 101-137, February.
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    3. Uribe, Martin & Yue, Vivian Z., 2006. "Country spreads and emerging countries: Who drives whom?," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 69(1), pages 6-36, June.
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    5. Kose, M. Ayhan, 2002. "Explaining business cycles in small open economies: 'How much do world prices matter?'," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 56(2), pages 299-327, March.
    6. Uribe, Martin, 1997. "Exchange-rate-based inflation stabilization: The initial real effects of credible plans," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 39(2), pages 197-221, July.
    7. Broda, Christian, 2004. "Terms of trade and exchange rate regimes in developing countries," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 63(1), pages 31-58, May.
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    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • E32 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Prices, Business Fluctuations, and Cycles - - - Business Fluctuations; Cycles
    • 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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