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Macroeconomic Volatility and Terms of Trade Shocks

  • Dan Andrews

    (Reserve Bank of Australia)

  • Daniel Rees

    (Reserve Bank of Australia)

This paper explores the effect of terms of trade volatility on macroeconomic volatility using a panel of 71 countries from 1971–2005. It finds that terms of trade volatility has a statistically significant and positive impact on the volatility of output growth and inflation, although the magnitudes of these effects depend on the policy framework and the structure of markets. Specifically, adopting a more flexible exchange rate tends to ameliorate the effect of terms of trade shocks on macroeconomic volatility. The paper also finds some evidence that a monetary policy regime that focuses on low inflation helps to moderate the volatility of output and inflation in the face of a volatile terms of trade. The same is true of financial market development in the case of output volatility. Using data on the expenditure components of GDP, the channels through which terms of trade shocks affect output are examined. The results suggest that terms of trade volatility has its largest effect on the volatility of consumption, exports and imports. There is evidence to suggest that greater financial market development helps to mitigate the effect of terms of trade volatility on consumption volatility, while monetary policy that focuses on low inflation is associated with lower volatility of imports.

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File URL: http://www.rba.gov.au/publications/rdp/2009/pdf/rdp2009-05.pdf
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Paper provided by Reserve Bank of Australia in its series RBA Research Discussion Papers with number rdp2009-05.

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Date of creation: Oct 2009
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Handle: RePEc:rba:rbardp:rdp2009-05
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  1. Carmen M. Reinhart & Kenneth S. Rogoff, 2002. "The Modern History of Exchange Rate Arrangements: A Reinterpretation," NBER Working Papers 8963, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Todd E. Clark & Eric van Wincoop, 1999. "Borders and business cycles," Research Working Paper 99-07, Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City.
  3. 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.
  4. repec:ner:tilbur:urn:nbn:nl:ui:12-3125497 is not listed on IDEAS
  5. Beck, Thorsten & Lundberg, Mattias & Majnoni, Giovanni, 2006. "Financial intermediary development and growth volatility: Do intermediaries dampen or magnify shocks?," Journal of International Money and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 25(7), pages 1146-1167, November.
  6. Ross Levine & Norman Loayza & Thorsten Beck, 2002. "Financial Intermediation and Growth: Causality and Causes," Central Banking, Analysis, and Economic Policies Book Series, in: Leonardo Hernández & Klaus Schmidt-Hebbel & Norman Loayza (Series Editor) & Klaus Schmidt-Hebbel (Se (ed.), Banking, Financial Integration, and International Crises, edition 1, volume 3, chapter 2, pages 031-084 Central Bank of Chile.
  7. Edwards, Sebastian & Levy Yeyati, Eduardo, 2005. "Flexible exchange rates as shock absorbers," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 49(8), pages 2079-2105, November.
  8. Jonathan David Ostry & Anne Marie Gulde & Atish R. Ghosh & Holger C. Wolf, 1995. "Does the Nominal Exchange Rate Regime Matter?," IMF Working Papers 95/121, International Monetary Fund.
  9. Grimes, Arthur, 2006. "A Smooth Ride: Terms of Trade, Volatility and GDP Growth," Occasional Papers 06/4, Ministry of Economic Development, New Zealand.
  10. Cukierman, A. & Lippi, F., 1998. "Central Bank Independence, Centralization of Wage Bargaining, Inflation and Unemployment - Theory and Some Evidence," Discussion Paper 1998-116, Tilburg University, Center for Economic Research.
  11. Christopher Kent & Kylie Smith & James Holloway, 2005. "Declining Output Volatility: What Role for Structural Change?," RBA Research Discussion Papers rdp2005-08, Reserve Bank of Australia.
  12. Olivier Blanchard & Justin Wolfers, 1999. "The Role of Shocks and Institutions in the Rise of European Unemployment: The Aggregate Evidence," NBER Working Papers 7282, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  13. Christopher Kent & Kylie Smith & James Holloway, 2005. "Declining Output Volatility: What Role for Structural Change?," RBA Annual Conference Volume, in: Christopher Kent & David Norman (ed.), The Changing Nature of the Business Cycle Reserve Bank of Australia.
  14. repec:ner:tilbur:urn:nbn:nl:ui:12-3125519 is not listed on IDEAS
  15. 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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