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Twin Deficits, Openness, and the Business Cycle

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  • Giancarlo Corsetti
  • Gernot J. Müller

Abstract

In this article, we study the co-movement of the government budget balance and the trade balance at business-cycle frequencies. In a sample of 10 OECD countries we find that the correlation of the two time series is negative, but less so in more open economies. Moreover, for the U.S. the cross-correlation function is S-shaped. We analyze these regularities taking the perspective of international business cycle theory. First, we show that a standard model delivers predictions broadly in line with the evidence. Second, we show that conditional on spending shocks the model predicts a perfect correlation of the budget balance and the trade balance. The effect of spending shocks on the trade balance is contained, however, if an economy is not very open to trade. (JEL:F41, F42, E32) (c) 2008 by the European Economic Association.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by MIT Press in its journal Journal of the European Economic Association.

Volume (Year): 6 (2008)
Issue (Month): 2-3 (04-05)
Pages: 404-413

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Handle: RePEc:tpr:jeurec:v:6:y:2008:i:2-3:p:404-413

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  1. Giancarlo Corsetti & Gernot J. Müller, 2006. "Twin deficits: squaring theory, evidence and common sense," Economic Policy, CEPR & CES & MSH, vol. 21(48), pages 597-638, October.
  2. Chari, V V & Kehoe, Patrick J & McGrattan, Ellen R, 2002. "Can Sticky Price Models Generate Volatile and Persistent Real Exchange Rates?," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 69(3), pages 533-63, July.
  3. Heathcote, Jonathan & Perri, Fabrizio, 1999. "Financial Autarky and International Business Cycles," Working Paper Series in Economics and Finance 320, Stockholm School of Economics, revised 30 Apr 2000.
  4. Christopher J. Erceg & Luca Guerrieri & Christopher Gust, 2005. "Expansionary Fiscal Shocks and the US Trade Deficit," International Finance, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 8(3), pages 363-397, December.
  5. Kim, Soyoung & Roubini, Nouriel, 2008. "Twin deficit or twin divergence? Fiscal policy, current account, and real exchange rate in the U.S," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 74(2), pages 362-383, March.
  6. Backus, David K & Kehoe, Patrick J & Kydland, Finn E, 1994. "Dynamics of the Trade Balance and the Terms of Trade: The J-Curve?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 84(1), pages 84-103, March.
  7. Gernot Mueller & Giancarlo Corsetti, 2007. "International Dimensions of Fiscal Policy Transmission," 2007 Meeting Papers 726, Society for Economic Dynamics.
  8. Corsetti, Giancarlo & Müller, Gernot, 2007. "Twin Deficits, Openness and the Business Cycle," CEPR Discussion Papers 6492, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  9. David Backus & Espen Henriksen & Frederic Lambert & Christopher Telmer, 2009. "Current Account Fact and Fiction," NBER Working Papers 15525, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  10. Roel Beetsma & Massimo Giuliodori & Franc Klaassen, 2008. "The Effects of Public Spending Shocks on Trade Balances and Budget Deficits in the European Union," Journal of the European Economic Association, MIT Press, vol. 6(2-3), pages 414-423, 04-05.
  11. Ravn, Morten O., 1997. "International business cycles in theory and in practice," Journal of International Money and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 16(2), pages 255-283, April.
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Cited by:
  1. Gust, Christopher & Leduc, Sylvain & Sheets, Nathan, 2009. "The adjustment of global external balances: Does partial exchange-rate pass-through to trade prices matter?," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 79(2), pages 173-185, November.
  2. Enders, Zeno & Müller, Gernot J. & Scholl, Almuth, 2008. "How do fiscal and technology shocks affect real exchange rates? New evidence for the United States," CFS Working Paper Series 2008/22, Center for Financial Studies (CFS).
  3. Corsetti, Giancarlo & Müller, Gernot, 2007. "Twin Deficits, Openness and the Business Cycle," CEPR Discussion Papers 6492, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  4. James Feyrer & Jay C. Shambaugh, 2009. "Global Savings and Global Investment: The Transmission of Identified Fiscal Shocks," NBER Working Papers 15113, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  5. Ippei Fujiwara & Kozo Ueda, 2012. "The Fiscal Multiplier and Spillover in a Global Liquidity Trap," CAMA Working Papers 2012-17, Centre for Applied Macroeconomic Analysis, Crawford School of Public Policy, The Australian National University.
  6. Martin Boileau & Michel Normandin, 2008. "Do Tax Cuts Generate Twin Deficits? A Multi-Country Analysis," Cahiers de recherche 0832, CIRPEE.
  7. Lane, Philip R., 2009. "A New Fiscal Strategy for Ireland," The Economic and Social Review, Economic and Social Studies, vol. 40(2), pages 233–253.
  8. Marcel Fratzscher & Luciana Juvenal & Lucio Sarno, 2008. "Asset prices, exchange rates and the current account," Working Papers 2008-031, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis.
  9. Athanasios O. Tagkalakis, 2013. "Discretionary fiscal policy and economic activity in Greece," Working Papers 169, Bank of Greece.
  10. Horag Choi & Nelson C. Mark, 2009. "Trending Current Accounts," NBER Working Papers 15244, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  11. Philip Lane, 2010. "Some Lessons for Fiscal Policy from the Financial Crisis," The Institute for International Integration Studies Discussion Paper Series iiisdp334, IIIS.

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