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Working Paper


This paper introduces a simple methodology to forecast international trade. The main innovation is to calculate non-unitary expenditure elasticities of import demand implied by non-homothetic preferences in the previous year to be further combined with the current change in expenditure to forecast the current imports. Using U.S. data on aggregate expenditure and good-level imports, we test the performance of the methodology in forecasting international imports. The methodology is successful in forecasting not only the Great Trade Collapse and the corresponding recovery period but also the other periods in the sample.

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