In this paper we investigate the relationship between trade intensity and the business cycle correlation using a panel data set taken from 24 countries over the period 1959-2003. Most previous studies did not account for the possibility that the business cycle correlation may be influenced by unobservable country-pair specific effects. Our estimates, using both fixed- and random-effects methodologies, suggest that trade intensity and the business cycle correlation are positively related to one another. However, detailed investigation shows that this relationship exists mainly for the European countries. © 2008 the editors of the Scandinavian Journal of Economics.