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Global Imbalances: Is Germany the New China? A Skeptical View

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  • Joshua Aizenman

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  • Rajeswari Sengupta

    ()

Abstract

In this paper we evaluate the current account patterns of China and Germany. We point out that China's current account surplus as a share of global GDP in recent years resembles that of Germany’s. Yet, an important difference is that the Euro block’s current account inclusive of Germany, has overall been balanced, whereas emerging Asia's current account inclusive of China, has mostly been characterized by sizable surpluses. We further find that both China and Germany's current account surpluses seem to be accounted for by common factors. However we have reasons to doubt the long run viability of these current account trends in future decades. Demographic transitions in China and Germany are projected to reduce their surpluses, and this effect is stronger for Germany. We also discuss plausible reasons to doubt the extent to which the Euro block will move towards significant surplus in the coming years.

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File URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10.1007/s11079-010-9196-7
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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Springer in its journal Open Economies Review.

Volume (Year): 22 (2011)
Issue (Month): 3 (July)
Pages: 387-400

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Handle: RePEc:kap:openec:v:22:y:2011:i:3:p:387-400

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Web page: http://www.springerlink.com/link.asp?id=100323

Related research

Keywords: Current accounts; Demographic transitions; Global imbalances; F15; F32;

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References

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  1. Robert C. Feenstra & Shang-Jin Wei, 2010. "Introduction to "China's Growing Role in World Trade"," NBER Chapters, in: China's Growing Role in World Trade, pages 1-31 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Harris Dellas & George S. Tavlas, 2011. "The fatal flaw: the revived Bretton-woods system, liquidity creation, and commodity-price bubbles," Working Papers 122, Bank of Greece.
  3. Gruber, Joseph W. & Kamin, Steven B., 2007. "Explaining the global pattern of current account imbalances," Journal of International Money and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 26(4), pages 500-522, June.
  4. Chamon, Marcos & Liu, Kai & Prasad, Eswar, 2013. "Income uncertainty and household savings in China," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 105(C), pages 164-177.
  5. Chinn, Menzie D. & Prasad, Eswar S., 2003. "Medium-term determinants of current accounts in industrial and developing countries: an empirical exploration," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 59(1), pages 47-76, January.
  6. Maurice Obstfeld & Kenneth S. Rogoff, 1996. "Foundations of International Macroeconomics," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262150476, December.
  7. Eswar S. Prasad & Raghuram G. Rajan & Arvind Subramanian, 2007. "Foreign Capital and Economic Growth," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 38(1), pages 153-230.
  8. Aizenman, Joshua & Jinjarak, Yothin, 2009. "Current account patterns and national real estate markets," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 66(2), pages 75-89, September.
  9. Michael D. Bordo & David C. Wheelock, 2004. "Monetary policy and asset prices: a look back at past U.S. stock market booms," Review, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis, issue Nov, pages 19-44.
  10. Aizenman, Joshua & Sun, Yi, 2009. "Globalization and the Sustainability of Large Current Account Imbalances: Size Matters," Santa Cruz Department of Economics, Working Paper Series qt4s3478nz, Department of Economics, UC Santa Cruz.
  11. Peter Lindert, 2003. "Why The Welfare State Looks Like a Free Lunch," Working Papers 27, University of California, Davis, Department of Economics.
  12. Michael Dooley & David Folkerts-Landau & Peter Garber, 2005. "An essay on the revived Bretton Woods system," Proceedings, Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco, issue Feb.
  13. Robert C. Feenstra & Shang-Jin Wei, 2010. "China's Growing Role in World Trade," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number feen07-1, May.
  14. Reuven Glick & Kevin J. Lansing, 2009. "U.S. household deleveraging and future consumption growth," FRBSF Economic Letter, Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco, issue may15.
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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Guonan Ma & Robert N McCauley, 2013. "Global and euro imbalances: China and Germany," BIS Working Papers 424, Bank for International Settlements.
  2. Juan Marchetti & Michele Ruta & Robert Teh, 2012. "Trade Imbalances and Multilateral Trade Cooperation," CESifo Working Paper Series 4050, CESifo Group Munich.

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