Savings and the Terms of Trade Under Borrowing Constraints

39 Pages Posted: 25 Jul 2000 Last revised: 18 Oct 2010

See all articles by Pierre-Richard Agenor

Pierre-Richard Agenor

University of Manchester - School of Social Sciences

Joshua Aizenman

National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

Date Written: June 2000

Abstract

This paper examines the extent to which permanent terms-of-trade shocks have an asymmetric effect on private savings. The first part uses a simple three-period model to show that, if households expect to face binding borrowing constraints in bad states of nature, savings rates will respond asymmetrically to favorable movements in the permanent component of the terms of trade in contrast to what conventional consumption-smoothing models would predict. The second part tests for the existence of asymmetric effects of terms-of-trade disturbances using an econometric model that controls for various standard determinants of private savings. The results, based on panel data for non-oil commodity exporters of sub-Saharan Africa for the period 1980-96, indicate that increases in the permanent component of the terms of trade (measured using three alternative filtering techniques) tend indeed be associated with higher rates of private savings.

Suggested Citation

Agenor, Pierre-Richard and Aizenman, Joshua, Savings and the Terms of Trade Under Borrowing Constraints (June 2000). NBER Working Paper No. w7743. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=233746

Pierre-Richard Agenor (Contact Author)

University of Manchester - School of Social Sciences ( email )

Oxford Road
Manchester, M13 9PL
United Kingdom

Joshua Aizenman

National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER) ( email )

1050 Massachusetts Avenue
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States

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