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.
Trade flows data show that the composition and cyclical properties of imports are similar in developed economies and emerging markets (EM) but this is not the case for exports. Unlike developed economies, (i) EM export few or only a selective set of capital goods and (ii) capital good and overall exports tend to be acyclical. The lack of procyclicality in exports drives the strong countercyclicality of EM trade balances observed in previous studies. A quantitative exercise demonstrates how the standard small open economy business cycle model can be improved for EM by incorporating these features.