Elasticity optimism

Jean Imbs, Isabelle Mejean

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


On average, estimates of trade elasticities are smaller in aggregate data than at sector level. This is an artifact of aggregation. Estimations performed on aggregate data constrain sector elasticities to homogeneity, which creates a heterogeneity bias. The paper shows such a bias exists in two prominent approaches used to estimate elasticities, which has meaningful consequences for the calibration of the trade elasticity in one-sector, aggregative models. With elasticities calibrated to aggregate data, macroeconomic models can have predictions at odds with the implications of their multi-sector counterparts. They do not when elasticities are calibrated using a weighted average of sector elasticities.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)43-83
Number of pages41
JournalAmerican Economic Journal: Macroeconomics
Issue number3
StatePublished - 2015

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Economics, Econometrics and Finance(all)


Dive into the research topics of 'Elasticity optimism'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this