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 uses a global input-output framework to quantify US and EU demand spillovers and the elasticity of world trade to GDP during the global recession of 2008-2009. We find that 20-30 percent of the decline in the US and EU demand was borne by foreign countries, with NAFTA, Emerging Europe, and Asia hit hardest. Allowing demand to change in all countries simultaneously, our framework delivers an elasticity of world trade to GDP of nearly 3. Thus, demand alone can account for 70 percent of the trade collapse. Large changes in demand for durables play an important role in driving these results.