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.
Document Object Identifier (DOI): 10.3386/w0686
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. citation courtesy of
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