Tradable and Nontradable Expenditure and Aggregate Demand for Import in an Emerging Market Economy
The Turkish economy has recently showed a remarkable performance in economic growth. This performance is particularly meaningful because it has occurred just after the worst economic crisis of the economy. Among other factors, the availability of high liquidity in international markets has played an important role in the easy access to foreign savings, and also increased domestic expenditure in the Turkish economy. This paper examines the importance of international liquidity usage in financing domestic aggregate expenditure. In this regard, we divide this expenditure into nontradable and tradable expenditure in terms of their income generation capability in different currencies. Nontradable expenditure generates income in local currency whereas tradable expenditure has the capability to generate income in foreign currency through trade. This division of the domestic expenditure components is particularly important if domestic expenditure is increasingly financed from capital inflow and if the nontradable component in domestic expenditure rises. Since nontradable expenditure creates income in local currency, and as its importance in Turkey has recently become high, the dependency of the economy on foreign exchange earning has also increased. This is shown by estimating the import demand function which includes the effects of disaggregated domestic expenditure. Empirically we found that nontradable expenditure is as crucial as tradable expenditure in generating import demand in the short run. This empirical finding makes us particularly sceptical regarding the positive effects of capital inflows which are closely related to the use of these inflows in tradable economic activities.
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