Imports under a foreign exchange constraint
The traditional model of import behavior -- which looks only at the gross domestic product (GDP) and real import prices as explanatory variables -- failed to predict or explain the developing countries'import slumps in the early 1980's. This paper expands on a more useful model, the Hemphill, which incorporates the traditional variables (relative prices and domestic income) with the variables introduced by Hemphill (foreign exchange receipts and international reserves). Section 2 of this paper discusses the theoretical models in the present study. The traditional model, used here as a benchmark, is presented first, and is later extended to include foreign exchange constraints. Section 3 presents the empirical estimates of the general import models that include foreign constraints, and two special cases, the Hemphill and benchmark models, using pooled, cross-section time series. Section 4 concludes that policy makers must look at the policies that affect GDP and prices and the availability of foreign exchange when trying to estimate import behavior in developing countries.
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