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Terms of Trade Shocks and Incomplete Information

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  • Daniel Rees

    (Reserve Bank of Australia)

Abstract

The terms of trade are subject to both permanent and transitory shocks. Particularly for commodity-producing small open economies, it is sometimes argued that the inability of agents to determine which of these shocks are permanent and which are transitory leads to more macroeconomic volatility than would be the case if agents had perfect information about the persistence of these shocks. I set up a small open economy model in which agents have imperfect information about the persistence of terms of trade shocks and estimate the parameters of the model using Australian data. The results point to the existence of large informational frictions. In fact, agents' beliefs about the future path of the terms of trade following transitory and permanent shocks are almost identical. However, the results also suggest that incomplete information causes agents to respond more cautiously to terms of trade shocks. Consequently, consumption, output and the trade balance are less volatile under incomplete information than they are under full information.

Suggested Citation

  • Daniel Rees, 2013. "Terms of Trade Shocks and Incomplete Information," RBA Research Discussion Papers rdp2013-09, Reserve Bank of Australia.
  • Handle: RePEc:rba:rbardp:rdp2013-09
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Schmitt-Grohe, Stephanie & Uribe, Martin, 2003. "Closing small open economy models," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 61(1), pages 163-185, October.
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    3. Maurice Obstfeld, 1982. "Aggregate Spending and the Terms of Trade: Is There a Laursen-Metzler Effect?," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 97(2), pages 251-270.
    4. Otto, G., 2003. "Terms of trade shocks and the balance of trade: there is a Harberger-Laursen-Metzler effect," Journal of International Money and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 22(2), pages 155-184, April.
    5. Mark Aguiar & Gita Gopinath, 2007. "Emerging Market Business Cycles: The Cycle Is the Trend," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 115, pages 69-102.
    6. 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.
    7. Jonathan Kearns & Philip Lowe, 2011. "Australia's Prosperous 2000s: Housing and the Mining Boom," RBA Annual Conference Volume,in: Hugo Gerard & Jonathan Kearns (ed.), The Australian Economy in the 2000s Reserve Bank of Australia.
    8. Michael Plumb & Christopher Kent & James Bishop, 2013. "Implications for the Australian Economy of Strong Growth in Asia," RBA Research Discussion Papers rdp2013-03, Reserve Bank of Australia.
    9. Boz, Emine & Daude, Christian & Bora Durdu, C., 2011. "Emerging market business cycles: Learning about the trend," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 58(6), pages 616-631.
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    Cited by:

    1. repec:bla:ozechr:v:57:y:2017:i:3:p:291-315 is not listed on IDEAS
    2. Pierre JACQUET & Alexis ATLANI & Marwan LISSER, 2017. "Policy responses to terms of trade shocks," Working Papers P205, FERDI.
    3. Tim Robinson & Tim Atkin & Mark Caputo & Hao Wang, 2017. "Macroeconomic Consequences of Terms of Trade Episodes, Past and Present," Australian Economic History Review, Economic History Society of Australia and New Zealand, vol. 57(3), pages 291-315, November.
    4. Ramezani, Fariba & Harvie, Charles & Arjomandi, Amir, 2016. "Australian Emissions Reduction Subsidy Policy under Persistent Productivity Shocks," 2016 Conference (60th), February 2-5, 2016, Canberra, Australia 235585, Australian Agricultural and Resource Economics Society.
    5. Pierre JACQUET & Alexis ATLANI & Marwan LISSER, 2017. "Policy responses to terms of trade shocks," Working Papers P205, FERDI.
    6. Adam Gorajek & Daniel Rees, 2015. "Lower Bulk Commodity Prices and Their Effect on Economic Activity," RBA Bulletin, Reserve Bank of Australia, pages 31-38, September.
    7. Kenneth W. Clements & Liang Li, 2014. "Valuing Resource Investments," Economics Discussion / Working Papers 14-27, The University of Western Australia, Department of Economics.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    terms of trade; imperfect information; small open economy; real business cycle;

    JEL classification:

    • C32 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Multiple or Simultaneous Equation Models; Multiple Variables - - - Time-Series Models; Dynamic Quantile Regressions; Dynamic Treatment Effect Models; Diffusion Processes; State Space Models
    • 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
    • Q33 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Nonrenewable Resources and Conservation - - - Resource Booms (Dutch Disease)

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