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Medium-term business cycles in developing countries

  • Comin, Diego
  • Loayza, Norman
  • Pasha, Farooq
  • Serven, Luis

Empirical evidence - including the current global crisis - suggests that shocks from advanced countries often have a disproportionate effect on developing economies. Can this account for the fact that aggregate fluctuations are larger and more persistent in the latter than in the former economies? And what are the mechanisms at play? This paper addresses these questions using a model of an industrial and a developing economy trading goods and assets, with (i) a product cycle shaping the range of intermediate goods used to produce new capital in each country, and (ii) investment adjustment costs in the developing economy. Innovation by the advanced economy results in new intermediate goods, at first produced at home, and eventually transferred to the developing economy through direct investment. The pace of innovation and technology transfer is driven by profitability. This process of technology diffusion creates a medium-term connection between both economies, over and above the short-term link through trade. Calibration of the model to match Mexico-United States trade and foreign direct investment flows shows that this mechanism can explain why shocks to the United States economy have a larger effect on Mexico than on the United States itself, and hence why Mexico shows higher volatility than the United States; why business cycles in the United States lead to medium-term fluctuations in Mexico; and why consumption is not less volatile than output in Mexico.

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Paper provided by The World Bank in its series Policy Research Working Paper Series with number 5146.

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Date of creation: 01 Dec 2009
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:wbk:wbrwps:5146
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  1. R. Gaston Gelos & Alberto Isgut, 2001. "Fixed Capital Adjustment: Is Latin America Different?," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 83(4), pages 717-726, November.
  2. Ghironi, Fabio & Melitz, Marc, 2005. "International Trade and Macroeconomic Dynamics with Heterogeneous Firms," Scholarly Articles 3228377, Harvard University Department of Economics.
  3. repec:oup:restud:v:58:y:1991:i:1:p:63-80 is not listed on IDEAS
  4. Gaston Gelos & Alberto Isgut, 1999. "Fixed Capital Adjustment: Is Latin America Different? Evidence from the Colombian and Mexican Manufacturing Sectors," IMF Working Papers 99/59, International Monetary Fund.
  5. Andrew Bernard & J. Bradford Jensen & Stephen Redding & Peter Schott, 2007. "Firms in International Trade," Working Papers 07-14, Center for Economic Studies, U.S. Census Bureau.
  6. Greenwood, J. & Hercowitz, Z. & Krusell, P., 1995. "Long-Run Implications of Investment-Specific Technological Change," UWO Department of Economics Working Papers 9510, University of Western Ontario, Department of Economics.
  7. Sanghamitra Das & Mark J. Roberts & James R. Tybout, 2001. "Market Entry Costs, Producer Heterogeneity, and Export Dynamics," NBER Working Papers 8629, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  8. Iscan, Talan B, 2000. "Financing Constraints and Investment Decline in Mexico," Manchester School, University of Manchester, vol. 68(1), pages 24-43, January.
  9. Neumeyer, Pablo A. & Perri, Fabrizio, 2005. "Business cycles in emerging economies: the role of interest rates," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 52(2), pages 345-380, March.
  10. Greenwood, Jeremy & Hercowitz, Zvi & Huffman, Gregory W, 1988. "Investment, Capacity Utilization, and the Real Business Cycle," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 78(3), pages 402-17, June.
  11. Warner, Andrew M., 1994. "Mexico's investment collapse: debt or oil?," Journal of International Money and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 13(2), pages 239-256, April.
  12. Guillermo A. Calvo, 1998. "Capital Flows and Capital-Market Crises: The Simple Economics of Sudden Stops," Journal of Applied Economics, Universidad del CEMA, vol. 0, pages 35-54, November.
  13. repec:oup:qjecon:v:107:y:1992:i:4:p:1161-86 is not listed on IDEAS
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