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Relative price riddles in international business cycle theory: Are transport costs the explanation?
Mazzenga, Elisabetta; Ravn, Morten O.
Universitat Pompeu Fabra. Departament d'Economia i Empresa
We study relative price behavior in an international business cyclemodel with specialization in production, in which a goods marketfriction is introduced through transport costs. The transporttechnology allows for flexible transport costs. We analyze whetherthis extension can account for the striking differences betweentheory and data as far as the moments of terms of trade and realexchange rates are concerned. We find that transport costs increaseboth the volatility of the terms of trade and the volatility of thereal exchange rate. However, unless the transport technology isspecified by a Leontief technology, transport costs do not resolvethe quantitative discrepancies between theory and data. Asurprising result is that transport costs may actually lower thepersistence of the real exchange rate, a finding that is in contrastto much of the emphasis of the empirical literature.
Macroeconomics and International Economics
international business cycles
terms of trade
real exchange rates
transport costs
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