Terms of Trade and Macroeconomic Dynamics in Latin America

Adriana Arreaza Directrice des études macroéconomiques, Corporacion Andina de Fomento (CAF).Contact : aarreaza@caf.com.
Manuel E. Toledo Corporacion Andina de Fomento (CAF). Contact : mtoledo@caf.com.

In this paper, we investigate to what extent terms-of-trade (TOT) disturbances drive cyclical fluctuations and affect trend output in Latin America. We focus on the seven largest economies of the region. We find that TOT shocks are an important driver of business cycles in the region, explaining on average about 30 percent of cyclical fluctuations in the sample. We also find evidence of a long-run relationship between TOT and aggregate output which, in most countries, also affects the short-run dynamics of output growth. Results vary across countries, suggestive of the heterogeneity of the region in terms of exposure to external shocks and domestic policy frameworks.

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