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Do Differences in Financial Development Explain the Global Pattern of Current Account Imbalances?

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  • Joseph Gruber
  • Steven Kamin
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    Abstract

    Building on the panel-regression approach of Chinn and Prasad (2003 ) and Gruber and Kamin (2007 ), we assess whether differences in financial development can explain the large developing-country surpluses or large US deficits. We find little evidence to support these hypotheses. We also assess whether differences in asset returns, an alternative measure of the attractiveness of financial assets, can explain the international pattern of capital flows. Lower bond yields have been generally associated with larger current account deficits in industrial countries. However, US bond yields have not been significantly lower than those in other industrial economies, suggesting that US financial assets have not been unusually attractive. We consider an alternative hypothesis that spending in the United States was uniquely responsive to lower costs of capital. However, we found this hypothesis also to be weak, as household saving rates have declined throughout the industrial economies. Copyright Published 2009. This article is a US Government work and is in the public domain in the USA.

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    Bibliographic Info

    Article provided by Wiley Blackwell in its journal Review of International Economics.

    Volume (Year): 17 (2009)
    Issue (Month): 4 (09)
    Pages: 667-688

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    Handle: RePEc:bla:reviec:v:17:y:2009:i:4:p:667-688

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    References

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    1. Olivier Blanchard & Francesco Giavazzi & Filipa Sa, 2005. "The U.S. Current Account and the Dollar," NBER Working Papers 11137, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    2. Michael P. Dooley & David Folkerts-Landau & Peter Garber, 2004. "Direct Investment, Rising Real Wages and the Absorption of Excess Labor in the Periphery," NBER Working Papers 10626, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    3. Lane, Philip R. & Milesi-Ferretti, Gian Maria, 1999. "The External Wealth of Nations: Measures of Foreign Assets and Liabilities for Industrial and Developing Countries," CEPR Discussion Papers 2231, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    4. Sebastian Edwards, 2005. "Is the U.S. Current Account Deficit Sustainable? And If Not, How Costly is Adjustment Likely To Be?," NBER Working Papers 11541, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    5. Sebastian Edwards, 2005. "Is the U.S. Current Account Deficit Sustainable? If Not, How Costly Is Adjustment Likely to Be?," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 36(1), pages 211-288.
    6. Michael P. Dooley & David Folkerts-Landau & Peter Garber, 2003. "An Essay on the Revived Bretton Woods System," NBER Working Papers 9971, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    7. Reuven Glick & Kenneth Rogoff, 1993. "Global versus country-specific productivity shocks and the current account," International Finance Discussion Papers 443, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
    8. Kaufmann, Daniel & Kraay, Aart & Mastruzzi, Massimo, 2005. "Governance matters IV : governance indicators for 1996-2004," Policy Research Working Paper Series 3630, The World Bank.
    9. Gruber, Joseph W., 2004. "A present value test of habits and the current account," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 51(7), pages 1495-1507, October.
    10. Menzie D. Chinn, 2004. "Incomes, Exchange Rates and the US Trade Deficit, Once Again," International Finance, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 7(3), pages 451-469, December.
    11. Menzie D. Chinn & Eswar S. Prasad, 2000. "Medium-Term Determinants of Current Accounts in Industrial and Developing Countries: An Empirical Exploration," NBER Working Papers 7581, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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    Cited by:
    1. Michał Brzozowski & Sadananda Prusty, 2013. "Impact of GDP volatility on current account balances," International Journal of Economics and Business Research, Inderscience Enterprises Ltd, vol. 5(3), pages 239-252.
    2. Carol Bertaut & Laurie Pounder DeMarco & Steve Kamin & Ralph Tryon, 2011. "ABS inflows to the United States and the global financial crisis," International Finance Discussion Papers 1028, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
    3. J. Ramos-Tallada., 2011. "The relationship between capital flows and financial development:a review of the literature," Quarterly selection of articles - Bulletin de la Banque de France, Banque de France, issue 22, pages 19-31, Summer.
    4. Gossé, Jean-Baptiste & Serranito, Francisco, 2014. "Long-run determinants of current accounts in OECD countries: Lessons for intra-European imbalances," Economic Modelling, Elsevier, vol. 38(C), pages 451-462.
    5. Luigi Bonatti & Andrea Fracasso, 2009. "The evolution of the Sino-American Co-dependency: modelling a regime switch in a growth setting," Department of Economics Working Papers 0905, Department of Economics, University of Trento, Italia.
    6. Bertaut, Carol & DeMarco, Laurie Pounder & Kamin, Steven & Tryon, Ralph, 2012. "ABS inflows to the United States and the global financial crisis," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 88(2), pages 219-234.
    7. Arratibel, Olga & Furceri, Davide & Martin, Reiner & Zdzienicka, Aleksandra, 2011. "The effect of nominal exchange rate volatility on real macroeconomic performance in the CEE countries," Economic Systems, Elsevier, vol. 35(2), pages 261-277, June.
    8. Vermeulen, Robert & de Haan, Jakob, 2014. "Net foreign asset (com)position: Does financial development matter?," Journal of International Money and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 43(C), pages 88-106.
    9. Bernanke, B.S., 2011. "International capital flows and the returns to safe assets in the United States 2003-2007," Financial Stability Review, Banque de France, issue 15, pages 13-26, February.
    10. Carol Bertaut & Laurie Pounder DeMarco & Steven B. Kamin & Ralph W. Tryon, 2011. "ABS Inflows to the United States and the Global Financial Crisis," NBER Working Papers 17350, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    11. Chevallier, Julien, 2012. "Global imbalances, cross-market linkages, and the financial crisis : a multivariate Markov-Switching analysis," Economics Papers from University Paris Dauphine 123456789/8773, Paris Dauphine University.
    12. Barattieri, Alessandro, 2014. "Comparative advantage, service trade, and global imbalances," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 92(1), pages 1-13.
    13. Gete, Pedro, 2009. "Housing Markets and Current Account Dynamics," MPRA Paper 20957, University Library of Munich, Germany, revised 24 Feb 2010.

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