The IMF Working Papers series is designed to make IMF staff research available to a wide audience. Almost 300 Working Papers are released each year, covering a wide range of theoretical and analytical topics, including balance of payments, monetary and fiscal issues, global liquidity, and national and international economic developments.
This paper develops country-specific VAR models with block exogeneity restrictions to analyze how exogenous factors affect business cycles in the Eastern Caribbean. It finds that external shocks play a key role, explaining more than half of macroeconomic fluctuations in the region. Domestic business cycles are especially vulnerable to changes in climatic conditions, with a natural disaster leading to an immediate and significant fall in output-but the effects do not appear to be persistent. Oil price and external demand shocks also contribute significantly to domestic macroeconomic fluctuations. An increase in oil prices (external demand) is contractionary (expansionary), and the effects dissipate up to three years after the shock.