Tipping the Scale? The Workings of Monetary Policy through Trade

Author/Editor:

Gustavo Adler ; Carolina Osorio Buitron

Publication Date:

June 28, 2017

Electronic Access:

Download PDF. Use the free Adobe Acrobat Reader to view this PDF file

Disclaimer: IMF Working Papers describe research in progress by the author(s) and are published to elicit comments and to encourage debate. The views expressed in IMF Working Papers are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily represent the views of the IMF, its Executive Board, or IMF management.

Summary:

Monetary policy entails demand augmenting and demand diverting effects, with its impact on the trade balance—and spillovers to other countries—depending on the relative magnitude of these opposing effects. Using US data, and a sign-restricted structural VAR identification strategy, we investigate how monetary policy shocks affects the trade balance, shedding light on the importance of the two effects. Overall, the results indicate that monetary policy has a meaningful impact on the trade balance. A monetary loosening (tightening) leads to a strengthening (weakening) of the overall trade balance, indicating that, on average, demand diversion dominates. This effect of monetary policy on trade is revealed in full when distinguisging between trading partners with fixed exchange rates—for which only demand augmenting operates—and flexible exchange rates—for which both effects operate. We also explore spillover differences between conventional and unconventional monetary policy, as well as changes in spillovers in the postcrisis period (due to an impaired monetary transmission mechanism). While our results suggest that monetary policy comes with spillovers through trade, they should not be interpreted as evidence against the use of this policy instrument as such. From a global perspective, optimal monetary policy should be assessed in conjunction with deployment of other policy measures, inclluding the ability of recipient countries to deploy their own policy measures to offset undesirable spillovers.

Series:

Working Paper No. 17/142

Subject:

English

Publication Date:

June 28, 2017

ISBN/ISSN:

9781484303603/1018-5941

Stock No:

WPIEA2017142

Price:

$18.00 (Academic Rate:$18.00)

Format:

Paper

Pages:

22

Please address any questions about this title to publications@imf.org