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Trade Integration and Risk Sharing

  • Aart Kraay
  • Jaume Ventura

What are the effects of increased trade in goods and services on the trade balance? We study the effects of reducing transport costs in a Ricardian model with complete asset markets. Trade integration has three effects on the structure of the economy: a reduction in the home bias in consumption, an increase in the degree of international competition in goods markets, and a reduction in real exchange rate volatility. The reduction in the home bias increases the volatility of the trade balance regardless of the source of shocks. Except for the case where supply shocks lead to counter-cyclical trade balances, (i) the increase in international competition also increases the volatility of the trade balance; and (ii) the reduction in real exchange rate volatility increases the volatility of the trade balance if risk aversion is low but lowers it if risk aversion is high. The opposite applies when supply shocks lead to counter-cyclical trade balances. We calibrate the model to U.S. data and provide a quantitative assessment of the effects of increased trade in services on the trade balance.

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Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 8804.

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Date of creation: Feb 2002
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Publication status: published as Kraay, Aart and Jaume Ventura. "Trade Integration And Risk Sharing," European Economic Review, 2002, v46(6,Jun), 1023-1048.
Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:8804
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  1. Dornbusch, Rudiger & Fischer, Stanley & Samuelson, Paul A, 1977. "Comparative Advantage, Trade, and Payments in a Ricardian Model with a Continuum of Goods," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 67(5), pages 823-39, December.
  2. James Harrigan, 1998. "Estimation of cross-country differences in industry production functions," Staff Reports 36, Federal Reserve Bank of New York.
  3. Robert J. Barro & Jong-Wha Lee, 2000. "International Data on Educational Attainment: Updates and Implications," CID Working Papers 42, Center for International Development at Harvard University.
  4. Baier, Scott L. & Bergstrand, Jeffrey H., 2001. "The growth of world trade: tariffs, transport costs, and income similarity," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 53(1), pages 1-27, February.
  5. Harold L. Cole & Maurice Obstfeld, 1989. "Commodity Trade and International Risk Sharing: How Much Do Financial Markets Matter?," NBER Working Papers 3027, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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