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On returns differentials

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  • Curcuru, Stephanie E.
  • Thomas, Charles P.
  • Warnock, Francis E.
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    Abstract

    Estimates of U.S. returns differentials have ranged from exorbitant to quite small, in part because of their volatility coupled with the relatively short time series available. We shed light on underlying drivers of returns differentials by presenting a number of decompositions: a by-asset-class decomposition into yields and capital gains, the Gourinchas and Rey (2007a) composition and return effects, and further decompositions of capital gains that focus on exchange rate effects. While each decomposition informs thinking about returns differentials, one constant is evident throughout: to date the existing differential favoring the U.S. has owed primarily to one factor, a differential in direct investment yields. We discuss how our analysis informs the income puzzle (of positive net income flows to the U.S. even as its net international investment position is negative and substantial) and the position puzzle (of a sizeable gap between the reported U.S. net international position and cumulated current account deficits), provide an initial assessment of the literature on the dynamics of returns differentials, and present a framework to guide a forward-looking view of how returns differentials might evolve in the future.

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    File URL: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0261560613000272
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    Bibliographic Info

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

    Volume (Year): 36 (2013)
    Issue (Month): C ()
    Pages: 1-25

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    Handle: RePEc:eee:jimfin:v:36:y:2013:i:c:p:1-25

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

    Related research

    Keywords: Returns differentials; Exorbitant privilege; Income puzzle;

    References

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    1. Andrew B. Bernard & J. Bradford Jensen & Peter K. Schott, 2006. "Transfer Pricing by U.S.-Based Multinational Firms," NBER Working Papers 12493, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    2. Curcuru, Stephanie E. & Dvorak, Tomas & Warnock, Francis E., 2010. "Decomposing the U.S. external returns differential," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 80(1), pages 22-32, January.
    3. Enrique G. Mendoza & Vincenzo Quadrini, 2009. "Financial Globalization, Financial Crises and Contagion," NBER Working Papers 15432, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    4. Pierre-Olivier Gourinchas & Helene Rey, 2005. "International Financial Adjustment," NBER Working Papers 11155, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    5. Ellen R. McGrattan & Edward C. Prescott, 2010. "Technology Capital and the US Current Account," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 100(4), pages 1493-1522, September.
    6. Nguyen, Ha, 2010. "Valuation effects with transitory and trend productivity shocks," Policy Research Working Paper Series 5174, The World Bank.
    7. Pierre-Olivier Gourinchas & Hélène Rey, 2005. "From World Banker to World Venture Capitalist: US External Adjustment and the Exorbitant Privilege," NBER Working Papers 11563, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    8. Hausmann, Ricardo & Sturzenegger, Federico, 2006. "Global Imbalances or Bad Accounting? The Missing Dark Matter in the Wealth of Nations," Working Paper Series rwp06-003, Harvard University, John F. Kennedy School of Government.
    9. Maurice Obstfeld, 2012. "Does the Current Account Still Matter?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 102(3), pages 1-23, May.
    10. Meese, Richard A. & Rogoff, Kenneth, 1983. "Empirical exchange rate models of the seventies : Do they fit out of sample?," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 14(1-2), pages 3-24, February.
    11. Philip Lane & Gian Maria Milesi-Ferreti, 2005. "A Global Perspective on External Positions," Trinity Economics Papers 2000516, Trinity College Dublin, Department of Economics.
    12. Devereux, Michael B & Sutherland, Alan, 2009. "Valuation Effects and the Dynamics of Net External Assets," CEPR Discussion Papers 7273, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    13. José L. Fillat & Stefania Garetto, 2010. "Risk, returns, and multinational production," Risk and Policy Analysis Unit Working Paper QAU10-5, Federal Reserve Bank of Boston.
    14. Kristin J. Forbes, 2008. "Why Do Foreigners Invest in the United States?," 2008 Meeting Papers 387, Society for Economic Dynamics.
    15. Elhanan Helpman & Marc J. Melitz & Stephen R. Yeaple, 2004. "Export Versus FDI with Heterogeneous Firms," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 94(1), pages 300-316, March.
    16. Stephanie E. Curcuru & Tomas Dvorak & Francis E. Warnock, 2008. "Cross-Border Returns Differentials," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 123(4), pages 1495-1530, November.
    17. Martin Feldstein, 1994. "Taxes, Leverage and the National Return on Outbound Foreign Direct Investment," NBER Working Papers 4689, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    18. Stephanie E. Curcuru & Charles P. Thomas & Francis E. Warnock, 2009. "Current Account Sustainability and Relative Reliability," NBER Chapters, in: NBER International Seminar on Macroeconomics 2008, pages 67-109 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    19. Habib, Maurizio Michael, 2010. "Excess returns on net foreign assets: the exorbitant privilege from a global perspective," Working Paper Series 1158, European Central Bank.
    20. Christopher M. Meissner & Alan M. Taylor, 2006. "Losing our marbles in the new century?: the great rebalancing in historical perspective," Conference Series ; [Proceedings], Federal Reserve Bank of Boston, vol. 51.
    21. Pierre-Olivier Gourinchas & Helene Rey & Nicolas Govillot, 2010. "Exorbitant Privilege and Exorbitant Duty," IMES Discussion Paper Series 10-E-20, Institute for Monetary and Economic Studies, Bank of Japan.
    22. Lane, Philip R. & Milesi-Ferretti, Gian Maria, 2008. "Where Did All The Borrowing Go? A Forensic Analysis of the U.S. External Position," CEPR Discussion Papers 6655, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    23. Maurice Obstfeld & Kenneth S. Rogoff, 2005. "Global Current Account Imbalances and Exchange Rate Adjustments," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 36(1), pages 67-146.
    24. Barry Bosworth & Susan M. Collins & Gabriel Chodorow-Reich, 2007. "Returns on FDI: Does the U.S. Really Do Better?," NBER Working Papers 13313, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    25. repec:tcd:wpaper:tep16 is not listed on IDEAS
    26. Harry Grubert & Timothy Goodspeed & Deborah L. Swenson, 1993. "Explaining the Low Taxable Income of Foreign-Controlled Companies in the United States," NBER Chapters, in: Studies in International Taxation, pages 237-276 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    27. Stephanie E. Curcuru & Tomas Dvorak & Francis E. Warnock, 2008. "Cross-border returns differentials," International Finance Discussion Papers 921, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
    28. Enrique G. Mendoza & Vincenzo Quadrini & José-Víctor Ríos-Rull, 2009. "Financial Integration, Financial Development, and Global Imbalances," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 117(3), pages 371-416, 06.
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    Cited by:
    1. Bridgman, Benjamin, 2014. "Do intangible assets explain high U.S. foreign direct investment returns?," Journal of Macroeconomics, Elsevier, vol. 40(C), pages 159-171.
    2. Robert N. McCauley & Guonan Ma, 2013. "Global and Euro Imbalances: China and Germany," SUERF 50th Anniversary Volume Chapters, SUERF - The European Money and Finance Forum.
    3. Robert Vermeulen & Jakob de Haan, 2012. "Net Foreign Asset (Com)position: Does Financial Development Matter?," DNB Working Papers 340, Netherlands Central Bank, Research Department.
    4. Canzoneri, Matthew & Cumby, Robert & Diba, Behzad & López-Salido, David, 2013. "Key currency status: An exorbitant privilege and an extraordinary risk," Journal of International Money and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 37(C), pages 371-393.

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