Dynamics of the Trade Balance and the Terms of Trade: the S-Curve
47 Pages Posted: 27 Feb 2004 Last revised: 13 Aug 2010
Date Written: December 1992
We provide a theoretical interpretation of two features of international data: the countercyclical movements in net exports and the tendency for the trade balance to be negatively correlated with current and future movements in the terms of trade, but positively correlated with past movements. We document these same properties in a two-country stochastic growth model in which trade fluctuations reflect, in large part, the dynamics of capital formation. We find that the general equilibrium perspective is essential: The relation between the trade balance and the terms of trade depends critically on the source of fluctuations.
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