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Gail Cohen, João Tovar Jalles, Mr. Prakash Loungani, and Ricardo Marto
Recent discussions of the extent of decoupling between greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and real gross domestic product (GDP) provide mixed evidence and have generated much debate. We show that to get a clear picture of decoupling it is important to distinguish cycles from trends: there is an Environmental Okun's Law (a cyclical relationship between emissions and real GDP) that often obscures the trend relationship between emissions and real GDP. We show that, once the cyclical relationship is accounted for, the trends show evidence of decoupling in richer nations—particularly in European countries, but not yet in emerging markets. The picture changes somewhat, however, if we take into consideration the effects of international trade, that is, if we distinguish between production-based and consumption-based emissions. Once we add in their net emission transfers, the evidence for decoupling among the richer countries gets weaker. The good news is that countries with underlying policy frameworks more supportive of renewable energy and supportive of climate change tend to have greater decoupling between trend emissions and trend GDP, and for both production- and consumption-based emissions.
Mr. Ayhan Kose and William Blankenau
This paper studies stylized business cycle properties of household production in four industrialized countries (Canada, the United States, Germany, and Japan). We employ a dynamic small open economy business cycle model that incorporates a household production sector. We use the model to generate data on home output, hours worked in the home sector, and hours spent on leisure. We find that in each country, home output is more volatile than market output while home sector hours are about as volatile as those in the market sector. In each country, leisure is the least volatile series. Leisure hours and home hours are countercyclical in all countries, and home output is not highly correlated with market output. Home sector variables are generally less persistent than market variables, and cross-country correlations related to home production tend to be lower than those related to market production. These findings demonstrate that despite some well-known structural differences in labor markets, the cyclical features of home sector variables are similar across the countries we consider.
Mr. Eswar S Prasad and Mr. Jeffery A. Gable
This paper provides some new empirical perspectives on the relationship between international trade and macroeconomic fluctuations in industrial economies. First, a comprehensive set of stylized facts concerning fluctuations in trade variables and their determinants are presented. A measure of the quantitative importance of international trade for the propagation of domestic business cycles is then constructed, focusing on the role of external trade as a catalyst for cyclical recoveries. Finally, structural vector autoregression models are used to characterize the joint dynamics of output, exchange rates, and trade variables in response to different types of macroeconomic shocks.