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International Trade and Intertemporal Substitution
(with Michael Waugh )
Abstract: This paper studies dynamic extensions of international trade models and their ability to explain the behavior of imports at business-cycle frequencies. Our premise is that because international trade is time-intensive, variation in the rate at which agents are willing to substitute across time affects how trade volumes respond to changes in output and prices. We formalize this idea and find that our calibrated model is quantitatively consistent with cyclical properties of U.S. imports. We then show that given the behavior of output and relative prices during the 2008-2009 crisis, our model goes a long way toward explaining the collapse in U.S. imports.
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