DP7003 | The International Dimension of Productivity and Demand Shocks in the US Economy

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This paper investigates the international dimension of productivity and demand shocks to US manufacturing. Identifying shocks with sign restrictions based on standard theory predictions we find that productivity gains in manufacturing - our measure of tradables - have substantial aggregate effects, boosting US consumption and investment, relative to the rest of the world, thus raising real imports; net exports and US net foreign assets correspondingly decrease. We also ascertain substantial repercussions through the international financial adjustment mechanism, via a rise in US shares prices and nontrivial portfolio shifts in gross US foreign assets and liabilities. At the same time these shocks appreciate the US real exchange rate and improve its terms of trade. Shocks to the demand for US manufacturing also lead to real dollar appreciation; however, they appear to have less pronounced aggregate effects, with limited impact on trade and capital accounts. Our findings provide novel evidence on key channels of the international transmission of business cycle impulses, including financial channels, linking aggregate demand, the current account, international relative prices. Namely, asymmetric wealth effects amplify rather than attenuate the consequences of US shocks to tradables on domestic aggregate spending, driving endogenous aggregate demand fluctuations across countries.