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Productivities, Trade, and Relative Prices in a Ricardian World

Vahagn Galstyan
IIIS and Trinity College Dublin

IIIS Discussion Paper No. 359

In an extended Ricardian model of trade, we study the effects of improving trade deficits on relative prices, and the relation between growth rates and real exchange rates. An improvement in the trade balance induces relative wages to overshoot their long-run value, placing downward pressure on the terms of trade of the same order of magnitude found in Armington type models. Once the pattern of specialization changes, some of the decline is reversed with a smaller value of long-run depreciation. We find that divergent growth rates do not cause distinct trends in the terms of trade. The result depends on the size of the non-tradable sector and the variability of industry-specific efficiencies. We also find that self-selection into export markets causes the relative price of non-traded goods to respond to demand re-balancing, giving birth to an endogenous Balassa-Samuelson effect. The model also suggests that in the long-run the stochastic variation of the real exchange rate is dominated by the volatility of the terms of trade.

JEL classification: F10; F32; F41; F43
Keywords: Trade re-balancing; Relative prices; Ricardian trade; Growth


Last updated 28 August 2014 by IIIS (Email).