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Trade and Business Cycle Correlations in Asia-Pacific

Discussion Papers


by KUMAKURA Masanaga
December 2005


Recent empirical studies challenge the traditional theory of optimum currency areas by arguing that a monetary union enhances trade and business cycle co-movements among its member countries sufficiently as to obviate the need for national monetary policy. This paper examines the empirical relationship between trade and business cycle correlations among thirteen Asia-Pacific countries, paying particular attention to the structural characteristics of their economies and other issues not explored fully in the literature. According to our result, although trade is relevant to the business cycles of individual countries, the main determinant of their international correlations is not the geographical structure of their trade but what they produce and export --more specifically the extent to which their output and exports are concentrated on electronic products.

Keywords: business cycles, optimum currency area, trade, electronics
JEL classification: F15, F33, F40

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