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A Smooth Ride: Terms of Trade, Volatility and GDP Growth

  • Grimes, Arthur

    ()

    (Motu Economic & Public Policy Research, and University of Waikato)

International evidence indicates that higher terms of trade levels and lower terms of trade volatility contribute to enhanced growth outcomes, especially for commodity-export and developing countries. New Zealand's terms of trade have been high and remarkably stable since the early 1990s compared with past experience. We analyse the proximate reasons behind these high, stable terms of trade and then examine whether this terms of trade behaviour explains growth outcomes since 1960. Attention is paid to growth outcomes over a variety of economic regimes. Approximately half the variance in annual GDP growth over 45 years can be explained by the level and volatility of the terms of trade. The relationship is robust across four economic regimes.

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File URL: http://www.med.govt.nz/about-us/publications/publications-by-topic/occasional-papers/2006/06-04-pdf/view
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Paper provided by Ministry of Economic Development, New Zealand in its series Occasional Papers with number 06/4.

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Length: 38 pages
Date of creation: May 2006
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:ris:nzmedo:2006_004
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  1. Ramey, Garey & Ramey, Valerie A, 1995. "Cross-Country Evidence on the Link between Volatility and Growth," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 85(5), pages 1138-51, December.
  2. Jonathan Eaton & Samuel Kortum, 2004. "Trade in Capital Goods," Levine's Working Paper Archive 228400000000000019, David K. Levine.
  3. Stephen Turnovsky & Pradip Chattopadhyay, 1998. "Volatility and Growth in Developing Economies: Some Numerical Results and Empirical Evidence," Working Papers 0055, University of Washington, Department of Economics.
  4. Wells, Graeme & Evans, Lewis, 1985. "The Impact of Traded Goods Prices on the New Zealand Economy," The Economic Record, The Economic Society of Australia, vol. 61(172), pages 421-35, March.
  5. Robert A Buckle & David Haugh & Peter Thomson, 2001. "Calm after the Storm?: Supply-side contributions to New Zealand’s GDP volatility decline," Treasury Working Paper Series 01/33, New Zealand Treasury.
  6. Francesco Caselli, 2007. "The Marginal Product of Capital," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 122(2), pages 535-568, 05.
  7. Sebastian Edwards & Eduardo Levy Yeyati, 2004. "Flexible Exchange Rates as Shock Absorbers," Business School Working Papers exchangerates, Universidad Torcuato Di Tella.
  8. Chang-Tai Hsieh & Peter J. Klenow, 2003. "Relative prices and relative prosperity," Proceedings, Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco, issue Nov.
  9. Robert A. Buckle & David Haugh & Peter Thomson, 2004. "Markov Switching Models for GDP Growth in a Small Open Economy: The New Zealand Experience," Journal of Business Cycle Measurement and Analysis, OECD Publishing,Centre for International Research on Economic Tendency Surveys, vol. 2004(2), pages 227-257.
  10. Mendoza, Enrique G., 1997. "Terms-of-trade uncertainty and economic growth," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 54(2), pages 323-356, December.
  11. William Easterly & Michael Kremer & Lant Pritchett & Lawrence H. Summers, 1993. "Good Policy or Good Luck? Country Growth Performance and Temporary Shocks," NBER Working Papers 4474, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  12. Robert J. Barro, 2013. "Inflation and Economic Growth," Annals of Economics and Finance, Society for AEF, vol. 14(1), pages 121-144, May.
  13. Bloomfield, Arthur I, 1984. "Effect of Growth on the Terms of Trade: Some Earlier Views," Economica, London School of Economics and Political Science, vol. 51(202), pages 187-93, May.
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