Job Market Paper
This paper studies the drivers of the US real exchange rate (RER), with a particular focus on its comovement with net trade flows. We consider the entire spectrum of frequencies, as the low-frequency movements account for 83% of the RER's unconditional variance. We introduce a model with heterogeneous firms facing sunk costs of exporting, financial shocks, and trade shocks. The model can fully capture the comovement of the RER and net trade flows at all frequencies, without compromising other major moments at the business cycle frequency. While financial shocks are necessary to capture the RER movements at higher frequencies, trade shocks are essential for lower frequency variation.
Rising Current Account Dispersion: Financial or Trade Integration? (with George Alessandria and Yan Bai)
This paper studies the factors accounting for the large, coincident increases in international borrowing and lending and international trade from 1970 to the present. We focus on the rise in annual changes in borrowing and lending across countries as summarized by the rise in the dispersion of the trade balance as a share of GDP. We show that these two salient features - a rise in net and gross international trade - are largely a consequence of a reduction in intratemporal trade barriers rather than a substantial reduction in the frictions on intertemporal trade or greater asymmetries in business cycles. Beyond explaining changes in the distribution of gross and net trade, the fall in frictions on intratemporal trade is consistent with the reduction in dispersion in other key macro time series such as the real exchange rate, terms of trade, and export-import ratio.
This paper studies the dynamic effect of trade liberalization on wages and consumption, exploiting cross-region variation in the United States at the state level after the U.S.-Korea Free Trade Agreement. A key feature is a theoretically sound measurement of a regional exposure that takes into account the elasticity of substitution and covers all potential channels of tariff impacts. Using the measures for the Local Projection Method, I find that less protection at home is associated with a persistent negative impact: by the 8th quarter, a state at the upper quartile of the barrier cut experienced a decline in wage and consumption that is 1.56 and 1.04 percentage points larger, respectively, than a state at the lower quartile. However, cheaper access to imported inputs has a positive but temporary impact: by the 8th quarter, an upper quartile state experienced an increase in wage and consumption that is 1.62 and 1.45 percentage points larger, respectively. More opportunities to export have little effect.
Work in Progress
Incomplete Tariff Pass-through at the Firm Level: Evidence from U.S.-China Trade Dispute (with Chengyuan He, Chang Liu and Xiaomei Sui)
From aggregate bilateral trade data, recent studies have found that U.S. tariff increases during the U.S.-China trade war were entirely passed on to U.S. importers. Using confidential data from U.S. Census, we show that the pass-through on U.S. importers is incomplete at the disaggregated firm-product-country level. In order to reconcile the discrepancy at different levels of aggregation, we consider the firm and product heterogeneity in various aspects: sourcing countries, number of imported varieties, import intensity from China, inventories, upstreamness, order frequency, etc. [Result disclosures coming soon]