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UBC Theses and Dissertations

Export supply and import demand elasticities Lawrence, Denis Anthony


The aim of this thesis is to extend the empirical research which has been undertaken using the GNP function approach to measuring export supply and import demand responsiveness. Exports and imports are divided into several components and detailed sets of elasticities produced. In the second part o£ the thesis imperfect adjustment is allowed for in the GNP function model. The GNP function framework treats imports as an input to the domestic technology while exports are an output. The aggregate technology can then be represented by a restricted profit function facilitating the derivation of net output supply elasticities. In this study the aggregate net outputs are exports, imports, labour and domestic sales supply. Capital is treated as a fixed input. Time-series of input-output data for Canada are used covering the period 1961 to 1980. In the first model estimated, four export and four import components are included by the use of aggregator functions and a two-stage estimation process. The recently developed Symmetric Generalised McFadden functional form which permits imposition of the correct curvature conditions while retaining flexibility is used at both the aggregator and GNP function levels. The aggregate export own-price supply elasticity was found to be 1.67 in 1970 while the aggregate import own-price demand elasticity was -1.62. Increases in the prices of both imports and labour were found to decrease the supply of exports while exports were found to be complementary to the output of domestic sales supply. The demand for labour was found to be more elastic than in earlier studies and a general trend towards increasing price responsiveness in the Canadian economy was observed. The own-price elasticities for the four export and four import components were stable and of reasonable magnitude. All the export and import components were found to be complementary. To remove the assumption of separability, modelling was extended to two larger disaggregated Generalised McFadden GNP function models containing four export (import) components, aggregate imports (exports), labour and domestic sales as net outputs. Using this procedure more substitution between the export and import components was found. A planning price model whereby the producers' notional price adjusts gradually to actual price changes indicated that imperfect adjustment is particularly important in the traded goods sector. Exports fully adjusted to price changes only over an extended period. Finally, an adjustment costs model was estimated which indicated that the main effect of allowing for imperfect adjustment was on input use. Differences between long-run and short-run export supply and import demand responsiveness were relatively small. Considerable substitutability between labour and capital in the long-run was observed and since labour was also variable in the short-run this produced overshooting of labour demand. An increase in export prices thus caused a large short-run increase in labour demand but in the long-run the capital stock was increased and substituted for much of the short-run labour increase.

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