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Current account adjustment and capital flows

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Author Info

  • Gabriele Galati
  • Guy Debelle

    (Reserve Bank of Australia)

Abstract

This paper examines episodes of current account adjustment in industrial countries over the past 30 years. We find that they were typically associated with a sizeable slowdown in domestic growth and a large exchange rate depreciation. There was no discernable change in the nature of capital flows in the period just prior to an adjustment, with the possible exception of non-residents' holdings of currency and deposits. This suggests that a current account adjustment may be an endogenous event - responding to the resolution of domestic imbalances - rather than an exogenous event where the size of the current account deficit itself precipitates the adjustment in the domestic economy and the exchange rate. Econometric evidence suggests that global developments trigger the adjustment, possibly because they trigger the unwinding of the domestic imbalances. We find that the bulk of the ex post adjustment of the financial account was in private sector flows, primarily on the part of foreign investors. Finally, we document some notable differences in the adjustment of the current account in the United States in 1987 compared with that observed in the other episodes.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Bank for International Settlements in its series BIS Working Papers with number 169.

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Length: 30 pages
Date of creation: Feb 2005
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:bis:biswps:169

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Keywords: International Finance; Current Account Adjustment; Open Economy Macroeconomics;

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References

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  1. Maurice Obstfeld & Kenneth S. Rogoff, 1996. "Foundations of International Macroeconomics," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262150476, December.
  2. Fabio Scacciavillani & Malcolm D. Knight, 1998. "Current Accounts," IMF Working Papers 98/71, International Monetary Fund.
  3. Ghosh, Atish R, 1995. "International Capital Mobility amongst the Major Industrialised Countries: Too Little or Too Much?," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 105(428), pages 107-28, January.
  4. Jonathan David Ostry, 1997. "Current Account Imbalances in AsEAN Countries," IMF Working Papers 97/51, International Monetary Fund.
  5. Menzie D. Chinn & Eswar S. Prasad, 2000. "Medium-Term Determinants of Current Accounts in Industrial and Developing Countries: An Empirical Exploration," NBER Working Papers 7581, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  6. M M Tudela, 2001. "Explaining Currency Crises: A Duration Model Approach," CEP Discussion Papers dp0487, Centre for Economic Performance, LSE.
  7. James M. Nason & John H. Rogers, 2003. "The present-value model of the current account has been rejected: round up the usual suspects," International Finance Discussion Papers 760, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
  8. Nouriel Roubini & Paul Wachtel, 1998. "Current Account Sustainability in Transition Economies," NBER Working Papers 6468, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  9. 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.
  10. Reinhart, Carmen & Calvo, Guillermo, 2000. "When Capital Inflows Come to a Sudden Stop: Consequences and Policy Options," MPRA Paper 6982, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  11. Hamid Faruqee & Guy Debelle, 1996. "What Determines the Current Account? a Cross-Sectional and Panel Approach," IMF Working Papers 96/58, International Monetary Fund.
  12. Michael P. Dooley & David Folkerts-Landau & Peter Garber, 2004. "The Revived Bretton Woods System: The Effects of Periphery Intervention and Reserve Management on Interest Rates & Exchange Rates in Center Countries," NBER Working Papers 10332, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  13. Calderon, Cesar & Chong, Alberto & Loayza, Norman, 2000. "Determinants of current account deficits in developing countries," Policy Research Working Paper Series 2398, The World Bank.
  14. Reinhart, Carmen & Calvo, Guillermo & Leiderman, Leonardo, 1993. "“Capital Inflows and Real Exchange Rate Appreciation in Latin America: The Role of External Factors," MPRA Paper 7125, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  15. C. John McDermott & Paul Cashin, 1996. "Are Australia's Current Account Deficits Excessive?," IMF Working Papers 96/85, International Monetary Fund.
  16. Guillermo A. Calvo, 1998. "Capital Flows and Capital-Market Crises: The Simple Economics of Sudden Stops," Journal of Applied Economics, Universidad del CEMA, vol. 0, pages 35-54, November.
  17. Gian Maria Milesi-Ferrett & Assaf Razin, 1996. "Sustainability of Persistent Current Account Deficits," NBER Working Papers 5467, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  18. Catherine L. Mann, 1999. "Is the U.S. Trade Deficit Sustainable?," Peterson Institute Press: All Books, Peterson Institute for International Economics, number 47.
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