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Business Cycles and the Asset Structure of Foreign Trade

Since the primary role of international financial linkages is to facilitate consumption smoothing in the face of country-specific shocks, the degree of international financial integration should play an important role in the international transmission of business cycles. This paper therefore studies the business cycle implications of restricting international trade in financial assets. The key restriction is that domestic residents must hold all risky claims to domestic output, trading only noncontingent bonds on the international asset markets. We find that restricting asset trade may or may not change the business cycle implications of the model relative to complete markets, depending on the parameterization of the stochastic process for productivity. When there are important differences, these stem largely from differential wealth effects. We also find that restricting asset trade can resolve the chief problem inherent in complete markets models, which is their predictions of too-high consumption correlations and too-low output correlations. When technology follows a random walk process, the restricted asset markets model predicts that cross-country output correlations are positive, and cross-country consumption correlations are smaller than the output correlations, as is typically observed in the data.

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Paper provided by University of Rochester - Center for Economic Research (RCER) in its series RCER Working Papers with number 316.

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Length: 35 pages
Date of creation: 1991
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:roc:rocher:316
Contact details of provider: Postal: University of Rochester, Center for Economic Research, Department of Economics, Harkness 231 Rochester, New York 14627 U.S.A.

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  1. David K. Backus & Patrick J. Kehoe & Finn E. Kydland, 1991. "International real business cycles," Staff Report 146, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis.
  2. Cole, Harold L. & Obstfeld, Maurice, 1991. "Commodity trade and international risk sharing : How much do financial markets matter?," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 28(1), pages 3-24, August.
  3. Conze, Antoine & Lasry, Jean Michel & Scheinkman, Jose, 1993. "2. Borrowing Constraints and International Comovements," Hitotsubashi Journal of Economics, Hitotsubashi University, vol. 34(Special I), pages 23-47, December.
  4. Cole, Harold, 1988. "Financial Structure and International Trade," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 29(2), pages 237-59, May.
  5. Mendoza, Enrique G, 1991. "Real Business Cycles in a Small Open Economy," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 81(4), pages 797-818, September.
  6. Burdett, Kenneth & Wright, Randall, 1989. "Unemployment Insurance and Short-Time Compensation: The Effects on Layoffs, Hours per Worker, and Wages," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 97(6), pages 1479-96, December.
  7. Kydland, Finn E & Prescott, Edward C, 1982. "Time to Build and Aggregate Fluctuations," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 50(6), pages 1345-70, November.
  8. King, Robert G. & Plosser, Charles I. & Rebelo, Sergio T., 1988. "Production, growth and business cycles : I. The basic neoclassical model," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 21(2-3), pages 195-232.
  9. Cardia, Emanuela, 1991. "The dynamics of a small open economy in response to monetary, fiscal, and productivity shocks," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 28(3), pages 411-434, December.
  10. Lawrence J. Christiano & Martin Eichenbaum, 1990. "Current real business cycle theories and aggregate labor market fluctuations," Discussion Paper / Institute for Empirical Macroeconomics 24, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis.
  11. Stockman, Alan C. & Svensson, Lars E. O., 1987. "Capital flows, investment, and exchange rates," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 19(2), pages 171-201, March.
  12. Baxter, M., 1988. "Approximating Suboptimal Dynamic Equilibria: An Euler Equation Approach," RCER Working Papers 139, University of Rochester - Center for Economic Research (RCER).
  13. King, R.G. & Baxter, M., 1990. "Productive Externalities And Cyclical Volatility," RCER Working Papers 245, University of Rochester - Center for Economic Research (RCER).
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