Gatton Endowed Associate Professor, Felipe Benguria's paper, "The Transmission of Commodity Price Super Cycles", which is co-authored with Felipe Saffie (University of Virginia) and Sergio Urzua (University of Maryland), is forthcoming in The Review of Economic Studies.
Abstract: We examine two key channels through which commodity price super-cycles affect the economy: a wealth channel, through which higher commodity prices increase domestic demand, and a cost channel, through which they induce wage increases. By exploiting regional variation in exposure to commodity price shocks and administrative firm-level data from Brazil, we empirically disentangle these transmission channels. We introduce a dynamic model with heterogeneous firms and workers to further quantify the mechanisms and evaluate welfare. A counterfactual economy in which commodity booms are purely endowment shocks experiences only 30% of the intersectoral labor reallocation between tradables and nontradables, and 40% of the within-tradables labor reallocation between domestic and exported production. Finally, the consumption-equivalent welfare gain of a commodity super-cycle is twice as large in the counterfactual economy.