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Current account sustainability in the US: What did we really know about it?

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  • Christopoulos, Dimitris
  • León-Ledesma, Miguel A.

Abstract

We analyze the sustainability of the US current account (CA) deficit by means of unit-root tests. First, we argue that there are several reasons to believe that the CA may follow a non-linear mean-reversion behavior under the null of stationarity. Using a non-linear ESTAR model we can reject the null of non-stationarity favoring the sustainability hypothesis. Second, we ask whether unit-root tests are a useful indicator of sustainability by comparing in-sample results for the 1960-2004 period to the developments observed up to the end of 2008. We find that the non-linear model outperforms the linear and random walk models in terms of forecast performance. The large shocks to the CA observed in the last five years induced a faster speed of mean reversion, ensuring the necessary adjustment to meet the inter-temporal budget constraint.

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Bibliographic Info

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

Volume (Year): 29 (2010)
Issue (Month): 3 (April)
Pages: 442-459

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Handle: RePEc:eee:jimfin:v:29:y:2010:i:3:p:442-459

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

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Keywords: Current account sustainability Stationarity Non-linear models;

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Cited by:
  1. Heidari, Hassan & Katircioglu, Salih Turan & Davoudi, Narmin, 2012. "Are current account deficits sustainable? New evidence from Iran using bounds test approach to level relationships," Economics - The Open-Access, Open-Assessment E-Journal, Kiel Institute for the World Economy, vol. 6(46), pages 1-18.
  2. Chen, Shyh-Wei, 2014. "Smooth transition, non-linearity and current account sustainability: Evidence from the European countries," Economic Modelling, Elsevier, vol. 38(C), pages 541-554.
  3. Blaise Gnimassoun & Valérie Mignon, 2013. "How Macroeconomic Imbalances Interact? Evidence from a Panel VAR Analysis," Working Papers 2013-42, CEPII research center.
  4. Chen, Shyh-Wei, 2011. "Current account deficits and sustainability: Evidence from the OECD countries," Economic Modelling, Elsevier, vol. 28(4), pages 1455-1464, July.
  5. Issiaka Coulibaly & Blaise Gnimassoun, 2013. "Current account sustainability in Sub-Saharan Africa: Does the exchange rate regime matter?," EconomiX Working Papers 2013-42, University of Paris West - Nanterre la Défense, EconomiX.
  6. Chen, Shyh-Wei, 2013. "Long memory and regime switching properties of current account deficits in the US," Economic Modelling, Elsevier, vol. 35(C), pages 78-87.
  7. Lanzafame, Matteo, 2012. "Current account sustainability in advanced economies," MPRA Paper 42384, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  8. Danica Unevska Andonova & Branimir Jovanovic, 2011. "Sustainability of the Macedonian Current Account," Working Papers 2011-06, National Bank of the Republic of Macedonia.
  9. Kim, Bong-Han & Min, Hong-Ghi & Hwang, Young-Soon & McDonald, Judith A., 2009. "Are Asian countries' current accounts sustainable? Deficits, even when associated with high investment, are not costless," Journal of Policy Modeling, Elsevier, vol. 31(2), pages 163-179.
  10. Bettendorf, Timo, 2013. "Feeding the Global VAR with theory: Is German wage moderation to blame for European imbalances?," Annual Conference 2013 (Duesseldorf): Competition Policy and Regulation in a Global Economic Order 79710, Verein für Socialpolitik / German Economic Association.
  11. Shyh-Wei Chen, 2010. "Testing for the Sustainability of the Current Account Deficit in Four Industrial Countries: A Revisitation," Economics Bulletin, AccessEcon, vol. 30(2), pages 1474-1495.

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