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Intertemporal Consumption Smoothing and Capital Mobility: Evidence from Australia

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  • Cashin, Paul
  • McDermott, C John

Abstract

This paper examines the optimality of international capital flows to Australia, a persistent net importer of capital, during its post-capital controls period 1984-99. The evolution of Australia's current account balance is compared against a benchmark derived from an optimising model of intertemporal consumption smoothing. The consumption-smoothing approach to the determination of the current account implies that international capital flows act as a buffer to smooth aggregate consumption in the face of temporary shocks to the economic fundamentals: changes in national cash flow (that is, changes in the level of output, investment or government spending). It is found that in the early 1990s a structural break occurred in the relationship between consumption and national cash flow, which coincides with a switch from debt-financing to equity-financing of the current account deficit. In the decade of the 1990s following this structural break (and unlike the decade of the 1980s which preceded this break), international capital flows to Australia implied a path for consumption which was broadly consistent with expected-utility maximisation under the consumption-smoothing model of the current account. Copyright 2002 by Blackwell Publishers Ltd/University of Adelaide and Flinders University of South Australia

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Wiley Blackwell in its journal Australian Economic Papers.

Volume (Year): 41 (2002)
Issue (Month): 1 (March)
Pages: 82-98

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Handle: RePEc:bla:ausecp:v:41:y:2002:i:1:p:82-98

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  1. Paul Bergin & Steven Sheffrin, . "Interest Rates, Exchange Rates And Present Value Models Of The Current Account," Department of Economics 97-22, California Davis - Department of Economics.
  2. Shiller, Robert J, 1981. "Do Stock Prices Move Too Much to be Justified by Subsequent Changes in Dividends?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 71(3), pages 421-36, June.
  3. Scott, Louis O, 1985. "The Present Value Model of Stock Prices: Regression Tests and Monte Carlo Results," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 67(4), pages 599-605, November.
  4. Sarno, Lucio & Taylor, Mark P., 1999. "Moral hazard, asset price bubbles, capital flows, and the East Asian crisis:: the first tests," Journal of International Money and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 18(4), pages 637-657, August.
  5. Masao Ogaki & Jonathan David Ostry & Carmen Reinhart, 1995. "Saving Behavior in Low- and Middle -Income Developing Countries: A Comparison," IMF Working Papers 95/3, International Monetary Fund.
  6. Maurice Obstfeld & Kenneth S. Rogoff, 1996. "Foundations of International Macroeconomics," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262150476, January.
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Cited by:
  1. Hamizun Ismail & Ahmad Baharumshah, 2008. "Malaysia’s current account deficits: an intertemporal optimization perspective," Empirical Economics, Springer, vol. 35(3), pages 569-590, November.
  2. Jorge Desormeaux & Karol Fernández & Pablo García, 2008. "Financial implications of capital outflows in Chile: 1998–2008," BIS Papers chapters, in: Bank for International Settlements (ed.), Financial globalisation and emerging market capital flows, volume 44, pages 121-142 Bank for International Settlements.
  3. Glenn Otto, 2003. "Can an Intertemporal Model Explain Australia's Current Account Deficit?," Australian Economic Review, The University of Melbourne, Melbourne Institute of Applied Economic and Social Research, vol. 36(3), pages 350-359.
  4. Makin, Anthony J. & Narayan, Paresh Kumar, 2013. "Has international borrowing or lending driven Australia's net capital inflow?," International Review of Economics & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 27(C), pages 134-143.
  5. Freund, Caroline, 2005. "Current account adjustment in industrial countries," Journal of International Money and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 24(8), pages 1278-1298, December.
  6. Phil Garton & Matt Sedgwick & Siddharth Shirodkar, 2010. "Australia’s current account deficit in a global imbalances context," Economic Roundup, Treasury, Australian Government, issue 1, pages 29-50, April.

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