In this paper we present a new long-term database on monthly export and import series for 23 economies during 1921-2010 and its first empirical application. Using these data, we analyse the synchronised decline in foreign trade during the recession 2008-09 in a historical perspective. We investigate the following two research questions: First, we compare the degree of synchronisation of trade flows among the past major economic crises. Second, we investigate the synchronisation of the speed of the recovery after these recessions. In order to answer these questions we use both, descriptive statistics (like rolling correlations) and turning-point oriented measures (Bry-Boschan routine, Markov switching model)
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