We quantify the effects of changes in international input-output linkages on the nature of business cycles. We build a multi-sector multi-country international business cycle model that matches the input-output structure within and across countries. We find that, in our 23-country sample with manufacturing and non-manufacturing sectors, changes in the international input-output linkages between 1970 and 2007 generated a third of the drop in output volatility in a median country observed in the data. The effects are heterogeneous across countries. Importantly, although changing international linkages tended to stabilize output, they also increase the risk of a global recession.
We uncover the major drivers of each macroeconomic variable and the real exchange rate at the business cycle frequency in G7 countries. In each country, the main drivers of key macro variables resemble each other and none of those account for a large fraction of the real exchange rate variances. We then estimate the dominant driver of the real exchange rate and find that (i) the shock is largely orthogonal to macro variables and (ii) the shock generates a significant deviation of the uncovered interest parity condition. We analyze international business cycle models that are consistent with our findings.
News shocks work through changes in expectations, so data on expectations contain important information for identification of news shocks. We demonstrate this by estimating a DSGE model augmented with news shocks using U.S. data between 1955:Q1 and 2006:Q4. News shocks, especially those with long anticipation horizons, generate modest output fluctuations before fundamental changes. The precision of the estimated news shocks greatly improves when data on expectations are used. These results arise because data on expectations are smooth and do not resemble actual output.
Using panel data on military spending for 125 countries, we document new facts about the effects of changes in government purchases on the real exchange rate, consumption, and current accounts in both advanced and developing countries. While an increase in government purchases causes real exchange rates to appreciate and increases consumption significantly in developing countries, it causes real exchange rates to depreciate and decreases consumption in advanced countries. The current account decreases in both groups of countries. These findings are not consistent with standard international business cycle models. We discuss potential sources of the differences between advanced and developing countries in the responses to spending shocks.
Using a rich data set on government spending forecasts in Japan, we provide new evidence on the effects of unexpected changes in government spending when the nominal interest rate is near the zero lower bound (ZLB). The on-impact output multiplier is 1.5 in the ZLB period, and 0.6 outside of it. We estimate that government spending shocks increase both private consumption and investment during the ZLB period but crowd them out in the normal period. There is evidence that expected inflation increases by more in the ZLB period than in the normal period.
We use the narrative approach to identify tax changes unrelated to current economic conditions and estimate the effects of these changes on macroeconomic variables during and outside of the zero lower bound period in Japan. We find little difference in the output responses across the two periods. However, the responses of aggregate consumption, investment, and imports are significantly different in the two periods within the first few quarters.
Using a novel data set for 17 countries between 1900 and 2013, we characterize business cycles in both small developed and developing countries in a model with financial frictions and a common shock structure. We estimate the model jointly for these 17 countries using Bayesian methods. We find that financial frictions are an important feature for not only developing but also small developed countries. Furthermore, business cycles in both groups of countries are marked with trend productivity shocks. Common disturbances explain one third of the fluctuations in small open economies, especially during important worldwide phenomena.
Business cycles are substantially correlated across countries. Yet, most existing models are not able to generate substantial transmission through international trade. We show that the nature of such transmission depends fundamentally on the features determining the responsiveness of labor supply and labor demand to international relative prices. We augment a standard international macroeconomic model to incorporate
three key features: a weak short-run wealth effect on labor supply, variable capital utilization, and imported intermediate inputs for production. This model can generate large and significant endogenous transmission of technology shocks through international trade. We demonstrate this by estimating the model using data for Canada and the United States with limited-information Bayesian methods. We find that this model can account for the substantial transmission of permanent U.S. technology shocks to Canadian aggregate variables such as output and hours, documented in a structural vector autoregression. Transmission through international trade is found to explain the majority of the business cycle comovement between the United States and Canada.