Theses Doctoral

Essays In Open Economy Macroeconomics

Patel, Nikhil

This dissertation comprises of three essays in open economy macroeconomics. The main contribution in these essays lies in incorporating insights from the literature on international trade in macroeconomic models to enhance their ability to explain transmission of business cycle fluctuations across countries.
The motivation for this research comes from the observation that international trade plays a key role in open economy macroeconomic models, and is the primary (and in some cases the only) channel through which shocks can be transmitted across countries. My doing so, the open economy macro literature has given a central role to international trade in explaining business cycle comovement across countries. However, even in the most sophisticated open economy models, international trade continues to be modeled in a highly stylized manner, and key insights and characteristics specific to international trade are ignored. These essays explore the role of two such features in international trade which have received widespread empirical support in the trade literature but continue to be overlooked as far as the macro literature in concerned-namely trade finance (or the dependence of international trade on external finance) and trade in intermediate inputs and re-export of imported goods.
Chapter 1 explicitly incorporates a role for international trade finance by modeling the link between external finance and the cost channel of monetary policy in a two country new keynesian Dynamic Stochastic General Equilibrium (DSGE) model and shows that trade finance affects the propagation of all shocks that are known to be important drivers of business cycles in advanced economies. It further shows that the degree and extent to which trade finance affects the propagation of shocks depends critically on certain key parameters that characterize the external sectors of countries including the degree of flexibility of import prices.
Motivated by the theoretical insights gained from chapter 1, chapter 2 takes a more quantitative approach by estimating the two country model with trade finance using data from the US and Eurozone (EZ) for the great moderation period. Apart from providing parameter estimates for the critical parameters identified in chapter 1, it documents how bayesian model comparison exercises provide evidence in favor of models incorporating a role for trade finance, and that trade finance matters more for spillover effects of shocks rather than the effects on the respective country of origin.
Chapter 3 (joint work with Zhi Wang and Shang-Jin Wei) examines the issue of measurement of competitiveness as defined by the real effective exchange rate and argues in favor of accounting for the distinction between intermediate and final goods trade flows and the need for considering sector level heterogeneities. On the theoretical front, it provides a multi-country multi-sector model which is solved and used to define competitiveness at both the country and country-sector level. On the empirical front, it provides estimates of elasticity of substitution across different countries, sectors and categories (production inputs vs final consumption goods) and compiles an annual database of real effective exchange rates for 40 countries and 35 sectors within each country for 1995-2009.



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More About This Work

Academic Units
Thesis Advisors
Schmitt-Grohe, Stephanie
Wei, Shang-Jin
Ph.D., Columbia University
Published Here
April 17, 2015