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International Risk-Sharing and Commodity Prices

  • Martin Berka


    (Victoria University of Wellington)

  • Mario J. Crucini


    (Department of Economics, Vanderbilt University)

  • Chih-Wei Wang


    (Department of Economics, Pacific Lutheran University)

Cole and Obstfeld (1991) exposited a classic result where equilibrium movements in the terms of trade could make ex ante risk-sharing arrangements unnecessary: a unity elasticity of substitution across goods and production specialization. This paper extends their model to N countries and M commodities (N > M). Here the terms of trade provides insurance against commodity-specific shocks, not country-specific shocks. Using commodity-level production data at the national level and world commodity prices we document significant terms of trade variability and positive responses of nation-specific production to terms of trade improvements. The endogenous terms of trade insurance mechanism highlighted in CO is virtually non-existent.

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Paper provided by Vanderbilt University Department of Economics in its series Vanderbilt University Department of Economics Working Papers with number 1121.

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Date of creation: Oct 2011
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Handle: RePEc:van:wpaper:1121
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  1. Mendoza, Enrique G, 1995. "The Terms of Trade, the Real Exchange Rate, and Economic Fluctuations," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 36(1), pages 101-37, February.
  2. Bidarkota, Prasad & Crucini, Mario J, 2000. "Commodity Prices and the Terms of Trade," Review of International Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 8(4), pages 647-66, November.
  3. Lewis, Karen K, 1996. "What Can Explain the Apparent Lack of International Consumption Risk Sharing?," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 104(2), pages 267-97, April.
  4. Marianne Baxter & Mario J. Crucini, 1992. "Business cycles and the asset structure of foreign trade," Discussion Paper / Institute for Empirical Macroeconomics 59, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis.
  5. Michael A. Kouparitsas, 1997. "A dynamic macroeconomic analysis of NAFTA," Economic Perspectives, Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago, issue Jan, pages 14-35.
  6. Mace, Barbara J, 1991. "Full Insurance in the Presence of Aggregate Uncertainty," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 99(5), pages 928-56, October.
  7. Michael A. Kouparitsas, 1997. "North-South terms of trade: an empirical investigation," Working Paper Series, Macroeconomic Issues WP-97-05, Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago.
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