The terms-of-trade shocks are not main source of business cycles in three post-communist countries (i.e., Slovakia, the Czech Republic, and Croatia). The zero or negative reactions of the trade balance in terms-of-trade positive shocks in the countries exhibit the Obstfeld-Svensson-Razin effect, according to which the Harberger-Laursen-Metzler positive effect on terms-of-trade indicates that the smaller the trade balance, the more persistent the terms-of-trade shock is. The conclusions come from the structural vector autoregressive analysis of the cyclical components of terms-of-trade, trade balance, output, consumption, and investment in three post-communist countries.
Using the structural vector auto-regression analysis of the terms-of-trade, trade balance, output, consumption and investment cyclical components we show that the relationship between the terms-of-trade and trade balance is negative and that the terms-of-trade shocks explain only a small fraction of business cycles in the Slovak economy. We use quarterly data in constant prices in the period 1997-2014. The results are in line with the theoretical and empirical studies in the contemporary world economic literature. The negative relationship between the terms-of-trade and the trade balance confirms a theoretical Obstfeld-Svensson-Razin effect. The positive effect of a change in the terms-of-trade on the trade balance – so called Harberger-Laursen-Metzler effect – is the smaller, the more persistent terms-of-trade shocks are. By capital adjustment costs, the theoretical effect may be even negative. A modest contribution of the terms-of-trade shocks to the business-cycle fluctuations in Slovakia is in line with other empirical papers around the world.