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Globalization and the sustainability of large current account imbalances: Size matters

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  • Aizenman, Joshua
  • Sun, Yi

Abstract

This paper evaluates the sustainability of large current account imbalances in the era when the Chinese GDP growth rate and current account/GDP exceed 10%. We investigate the size distribution and the durability of current account deficits during 1966-2005, and report the results of a simulation that relies on the adding-up property of global current account balances. Excluding the US, we find that size does matter: the length of current account deficit spells is negatively related to the relative size of the countries' GDP. We conclude that the continuation of the fast growth rate of China, while maintaining its large current account/GPD surpluses, would be constrained by the limited sustainability of the larger current account deficits/GDP of courtiers that grow at a much slower rate. Consequently, short of the emergence of a "new demander of last resort", the Chinese growth path would be challenged by its own success.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Journal of Macroeconomics.

Volume (Year): 32 (2010)
Issue (Month): 1 (March)
Pages: 35-44

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Handle: RePEc:eee:jmacro:v:32:y:2010:i:1:p:35-44

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Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/inca/622617

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Keywords: Current account imbalances Growth Size Adding-up property;

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References

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  1. Olivier Blanchard, 2007. "Current Account Deficits in Rich Countries," IMF Staff Papers, Palgrave Macmillan, vol. 54(2), pages 191-219, June.
  2. 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.
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  8. Aizenman, Joshua & LEE, JAEWOO, 2005. "International Reserves: Precautionary versus Mercantilist Views, Theory and Evidence," Santa Cruz Department of Economics, Working Paper Series qt44g3n2j8, Department of Economics, UC Santa Cruz.
  9. Joshua Aizenman & Brian Pinto & Artur Radziwill, 2004. "Sources for financing domestic capital - is foreign saving a viable option for developing countries?," CASE Network Studies and Analyses 0288, CASE-Center for Social and Economic Research.
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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Smith, Constance, 2011. "External Balance Adjustment: An Intra-National and International Comparison," Working Papers 2011-13, University of Alberta, Department of Economics.
  2. Joshua Aizenman & Yothin Jinjarak & Nancy P. Marion, 2013. "China's Growth, Stability, and Use of International Reserves," NBER Working Papers 19739, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. Sabine Herrmann & Adalbert Winkler, 2008. "Real convergence, financial markets, and the current account – Emerging Europe versus emerging Asia," Occasional Paper Series 88, European Central Bank.
  4. Joshua Aizenman & Rajeswari Sengupta, 2011. "Global Imbalances: Is Germany the New China? A Skeptical View," Open Economies Review, Springer, vol. 22(3), pages 387-400, July.
  5. Aizenman, Joshua & Jinjarak, Yothin, 2008. "The US as the “demander of last resort†and its implications on China’s current account," Santa Cruz Department of Economics, Working Paper Series qt986646mz, Department of Economics, UC Santa Cruz.
  6. Blaise Gnimassoun & Valérie Mignon, 2014. "How macroeconomic imbalances interact? Evidence from a panel VAR analysis," EconomiX Working Papers 2014-5, University of Paris West - Nanterre la Défense, EconomiX.
  7. Bolos Marcel & Otgon Cristian & Pop Razvan, 2011. "Substantiation Of The Public Debt Sustainability Using Kalman Filter," Annals of Faculty of Economics, University of Oradea, Faculty of Economics, vol. 1(2), pages 323-334, December.
  8. Dumitru, Ionut & Dumitru, Ionela, 2009. "An Assessment of the Current Account Sustainability in Romania – An Inter-temporal Perspective," Journal for Economic Forecasting, Institute for Economic Forecasting, vol. 6(2), pages 23-41, June.
  9. Christopoulos, Dimitris & León-Ledesma, Miguel A., 2010. "Current account sustainability in the US: What did we really know about it?," Journal of International Money and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 29(3), pages 442-459, April.
  10. Körner, Finn Marten, 2011. "An equilibrium model of 'global imbalances' revisited," Violette Reihe Arbeitspapiere 33/2011, Promotionsschwerpunkt "Globalisierung und Beschaeftigung".
  11. 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.
  12. Jesmin Rahman, 2008. "Current Account Developments in New Member States of the European Union," IMF Working Papers 08/92, International Monetary Fund.
  13. Joshua AIZENMAN & Minsoo LEE & Donghyun PARK, 2012. "The Relationship between Structural Change and Inequality: A Conceptual Overview with Special Reference to Developing Asia," Working Papers DP-2012-13, Economic Research Institute for ASEAN and East Asia (ERIA).
  14. Aizenman, Joshua & Jinjarak, Yothin & Marion, Nancy P., 2014. "The People's Republic of China's Growth, Stability, and Use of International Reserves," ADBI Working Papers 455, Asian Development Bank Institute.
  15. Chris Hunt, 2008. "Financial turmoil and global imbalances: the end of Bretton Woods II?," Reserve Bank of New Zealand Bulletin, Reserve Bank of New Zealand, vol. 71, September.
  16. Joshua Aizenman & Yothin Jinjarak, 2008. "The US as the "Demander of Last Resort" and its Implications on China's Current Account," NBER Working Papers 14453, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.

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