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The Great Trade Collapse of 2008-09: An Inventory Adjustment?

Author

Listed:
  • Virgiliu Midrigan

    (NYU)

  • Joseph Kaboski

    (Ohio State University)

  • George Alessandria

    (FRB Philadelphia)

Abstract

This paper examines the role of inventories in the decline of production, trade, and expenditures in the US in the economic crisis of late 2008 and 2009. Empirically, we show that international trade declined more drastically than trade-weighted production or absorption and there was a sizeable inventory adjustment. This is most clearly evident for autos, the industry with the largest drop in trade. However, relative to the magnitude of the US downturn, these movements in trade are quite typical. We develop a two-country general equilibrium model with endogenous inventory holdings in response to frictions in domestic and foreign transactions costs. With more severe frictions on international transactions, in a downturn, the calibrated model shows a larger decline in output and an even larger decline in international trade, relative to a more standard model without inventories. The magnitudes of production, trade, and inventory responses are quantitatively similar to those observed in the current and previous US recessions.
(This abstract was borrowed from another version of this item.)

Suggested Citation

  • Virgiliu Midrigan & Joseph Kaboski & George Alessandria, 2010. "The Great Trade Collapse of 2008-09: An Inventory Adjustment?," 2010 Meeting Papers 107, Society for Economic Dynamics.
  • Handle: RePEc:red:sed010:107
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. George Alessandria & Joseph P. Kaboski & Virgiliu Midrigan, 2010. "Inventories, Lumpy Trade, and Large Devaluations," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 100(5), pages 2304-2339, December.
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    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • F1 - International Economics - - Trade
    • F11 - International Economics - - Trade - - - Neoclassical Models of Trade
    • F4 - International Economics - - Macroeconomic Aspects of International Trade and Finance

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