Business Cycle Volatility and Openness: An Exploratory Cross-Section Analysis
NBER Working Paper No. 4208 (Also Reprint No. r1903)
This paper links business cycle volatility to barriers on international mobility of goods and capital. Theory predicts that capital market integration should lower consumption volatility while raising investment volatility, if most shocks are country-specific and transitory. The removal of barriers to trade in goods should enhance specialization and hence output volatility. We test these ideas using a unique panel data set which includes indicators of barriers to trade in both goods and capital flows. However, our empirical results indicate that neither the degree of capital mobility, nor the degree of goods mobility is strongly correlated with the volatility of consumption, investment or output. This may reflect the fact that many business cycle shocks are both persistent and common to many countries.
Published: Capital Mobility: The Impact on Consumption, Investment and Growth, ed. Leo Leiderman and Assaf Razin, pp. 48-75, Cambridge University Press, 1994