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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

Paper provided by Department of Economics, UC Santa Cruz in its series Santa Cruz Department of Economics, Working Paper Series with number qt2bs193w4.

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Date of creation: 01 Jan 2008
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Handle: RePEc:cdl:ucscec:qt2bs193w4

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Keywords: current account imbalances; growth; size; adding-up property;

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References

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  1. Gourinchas, Pierre-Olivier & Jeanne, Olivier, 2007. "Capital Flows to Developing Countries: The Allocation Puzzle," CEPR Discussion Papers 6561, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
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  3. Joshua Aizenman & Jaewoo Lee, 2008. "Financial versus Monetary Mercantilism: Long-run View of Large International Reserves Hoarding," The World Economy, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 31(5), pages 593-611, 05.
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  12. Christopher D. Carroll & Jody Overland & David N. Weil, 1995. "Saving and growth with habit formation," Finance and Economics Discussion Series 95-42, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
  13. Joshua Aizenman & Brian Pinto & Artur Radziwill, 2004. "Sources for Financing Domestic Capital -- Is Foreign Saving a Viable Option for Developing Countries?," NBER Working Papers 10624, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  14. Olivier Blanchard, 2007. "Current Account Deficits in Rich Countries," NBER Working Papers 12925, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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  19. Aizenman, Joshua & LEE, JAEWOO, 2005. "International Reserves: Precautionary versus Mercantilist Views, Theory and Evidence," Santa Cruz Department of Economics, Working Paper Series qt2tn4w8x6, Department of Economics, UC Santa Cruz.
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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Joshua Aizenman & Yothin Jinjarak & Nancy Marion, 2014. "China’s Growth, Stability, and Use of International Reserves," Open Economies Review, Springer, vol. 25(3), pages 407-428, July.
  2. 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.
  3. Sabine Herrmann & Adalbert Winkler, 2009. "Real convergence, financial markets, and the current account - Emerging Europe versus emerging Asia," European Economy - Economic Papers 362, Directorate General Economic and Monetary Affairs (DG ECFIN), European Commission.
  4. Dimitris K. Christopoulos & Miguel León-Ledesma, 2004. "Current Account Sustainability in the US: What Do We Really Know About It?," Studies in Economics 0412, Department of Economics, University of Kent.
  5. Aizenman, Joshua & Lee, Minsoo & Park, Donghyun, 2012. "The Relationship between Structural Change and Inequality: A Conceptual Overview with Special Reference to Developing Asia," ADBI Working Papers 396, Asian Development Bank Institute.
  6. Smith, Constance, 2011. "External Balance Adjustment: An Intra-National and International Comparison," Working Papers 2011-13, University of Alberta, Department of Economics.
  7. Aizenman, Joshua & Sengupta, Rajeswari, 2010. "Global Imbalances: Is Germany the new China? A Skeptical View," Santa Cruz Department of Economics, Working Paper Series qt3zx245jn, Department of Economics, UC Santa Cruz.
  8. 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.
  9. 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.
  10. 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.
  11. Blaise Gnimassoun & Valérie Mignon, 2013. "How Macroeconomic Imbalances Interact? Evidence from a Panel VAR Analysis," Working Papers 2013-42, CEPII research center.
  12. Körner, Finn Marten, 2011. "An equilibrium model of 'global imbalances' revisited," Violette Reihe Arbeitspapiere 33/2011, Promotionsschwerpunkt "Globalisierung und Beschaeftigung".
  13. 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.
  14. Jesmin Rahman, 2008. "Current Account Developments in New Member States of the European Union," IMF Working Papers 08/92, International Monetary Fund.
  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. 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.

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