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Testing present value models of the current account: a cautionary note

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  • Kasa, Kenneth

Abstract

Following Campbell (1987) and Campbell and Shiller (1987), many papers have evaluated the intertemporal approach to the current account by testing restrictions on a Vector Autoregression (VAR). The attractiveness of the Campbell-Shiller methodology is that it is thought to be immune to omitted information. This paper uses results from Hansen and Sargent (1991a) and Quah (1990) to show that this is not true in certain (empirically plausible) situations. In particular, it is shown that if fundamentals are driven by unobserved (to the econometrician) permanent and transitory components, then the theoretical restrictions of a standard Present Value model of the current account might not be testable with a VAR. This is because the theoretical moving average representation can turn out to be noninvertible. This implies that observed data, including the current account, do not reveal the underlying shocks to agents' information sets. ; These results are potentially relevant given the results of several recent papers which claim that current accounts are 'excessively volatile'. I provide a simple example in which a researcher employing the Campbell-Shiller methodology is tricked into thinking the current account responds excessively to shocks when in fact the data are consistent with the theory.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Journal of International Money and Finance.

Volume (Year): 22 (2003)
Issue (Month): 4 (August)
Pages: 557-569

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Handle: RePEc:eee:jimfin:v:22:y:2003:i:4:p:557-569

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Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/inca/30443

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References

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  1. Danny Quah, 1991. "The Relative Importance of Permanent and Transitory Components: Identification and Some Theoretical Bounds," FMG Discussion Papers dp126, Financial Markets Group.
  2. John Y. Campbell & Robert J. Shiller, 1986. "Cointegration and Tests of Present Value Models," Cowles Foundation Discussion Papers 785, Cowles Foundation for Research in Economics, Yale University.
  3. Reuven Glick & Kenneth Rogoff, 1992. "Global Versus Country-Specific Productivity Shocks and the Current Account," NBER Working Papers 4140, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  4. Sheffrin, S.M. & Woo, W.T., 1989. "Present Value Tests Of An Intertemporal Model Of The Current Account," Papers 61, California Davis - Institute of Governmental Affairs.
  5. Maurice Obstfeld and Kenneth Rogoff., 1994. "The Intertemporal Approach to the Current Account," Center for International and Development Economics Research (CIDER) Working Papers C94-044, University of California at Berkeley.
  6. Ahmed, Shaghil, 1986. "Temporary and permanent government spending in an open economy: Some evidence for the United Kingdom," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 17(2), pages 197-224, March.
  7. Otto, Glenn, 1992. "Testing a present-value model of the current account: Evidence from US and Canadian time series," Journal of International Money and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 11(5), pages 414-430, October.
  8. Campbell, John Y, 1987. "Does Saving Anticipate Declining Labor Income? An Alternative Test of the Permanent Income Hypothesis," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 55(6), pages 1249-73, November.
  9. Hall, Robert E, 1978. "Stochastic Implications of the Life Cycle-Permanent Income Hypothesis: Theory and Evidence," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 86(6), pages 971-87, December.
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Cited by:
  1. John C. Bluedorn, 2005. "Hurricanes: Intertemporal Trade and Capital Shocks," Economics Papers 2005-W22, Economics Group, Nuffield College, University of Oxford.
  2. Elif C. Arbatli, 2009. "Futures Markets, Oil Prices, and the Intertemporal Approach to the Current Account," 2009 Meeting Papers 406, Society for Economic Dynamics.

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