Aggregate Spending and the Terms of Trade: Is There a Laursen-Metzler Effect?
This paper investigates the spending and current-account effects of permanent terms-of-trade shifts in a model where households maximize utility over an infinite planning period. In the framework we adopt, an economy specialized in production must experience a fall in aggregate spending and a current surplus when the terms of trade permanently deteriorate The model thus provides a counter-example to the argument of Laursen and Idetzler (1950) and Harberger (1950) that a permanent worsening in the terms of trade must produce a current-account deficit.
Published: Obstfeld, Maurice. "Aggregate Spending and the Terms of Trade: Is There a Laursen-Metzler Effect." The Quarterly Journal of Economics, (May 1982), pp. 251-270.