DP14594 Not all Terms of Trade Shocks are Alike

Author(s): Luciana Juvenal, Ivan Petrella
Publication Date: April 2020
Keyword(s): business cycles, commodity prices, terms of trade, World Shocks
JEL(s): F41, F44
Programme Areas: International Macroeconomics and Finance, Monetary Economics and Fluctuations
Link to this Page: cepr.org/active/publications/discussion_papers/dp.php?dpno=14594

When analyzing terms of trade shocks, it is implicitly assumed that the economy responds symmetrically to changes in export and import prices. Using a sample of developing countries our paper shows that this is not the case. We construct export and import prices using commodity and manufacturing price data matched with trade shares and separately identify export price, import price and global demand shocks using sign and narrative restrictions. Our findings indicate that, taken together, export and import price shocks account for around 40 percent of output fluctuations. We also find that global demand shocks, which simultaneously affect export and import prices, are often undetected in the terms of trade measure despite having a large effect on business cycles.