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

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  • Aizenman, Joshua
  • Sengupta, Rajeswari

Abstract

In this paper we evaluate the current account patterns of China and Germany. Wepoint out that China's current account surplus as a share of global GDP in recent yearsresembles that of Germany’s. Yet, an important difference is that the Euro block’scurrent account inclusive of Germany has overall been balanced, whereas emergingAsia's current account inclusive of China has mostly been characterized by sizablesurpluses. We further find that both China and Germany's current account surplusesseem to be accounted for by common factors. However we have reasons to doubt thelong run viability of these current account trends in future decades. Demographictransitions in China and Germany are projected to reduce their surpluses, and thiseffect is stronger for Germany. We also discuss plausible reasons to doubt the extentto which the Euro block will move towards significant surplus in the coming years.

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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 qt3zx245jn.

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Date of creation: 08 Dec 2010
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Handle: RePEc:cdl:ucscec:qt3zx245jn

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Keywords: Social and Behavioral Sciences; current accounts; demographic transitions; global imbalances;

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References

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  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. Michael P. Dooley & David Folkerts-Landau & Peter Garber, 2003. "An Essay on the Revived Bretton Woods System," NBER Working Papers 9971, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  4. Marcos Chamon & Kai Liu & Eswar S. Prasad, 2010. "Income Uncertainty and Household Savings in China," NBER Working Papers 16565, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  5. Peter Lindert, 2003. "Why The Welfare State Looks Like a Free Lunch," Working Papers 27, University of California, Davis, Department of Economics.
  6. Eswar S. Prasad & Raghuram G. Rajan & Arvind Subramanian, 2007. "Foreign Capital and Economic Growth," NBER Working Papers 13619, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  7. 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.
  8. 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.
  9. Maurice Obstfeld & Kenneth S. Rogoff, 1996. "Foundations of International Macroeconomics," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262150476, December.
  10. 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.
  11. 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.
  12. 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.
  13. 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.
  14. 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.
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Cited by:
  1. Juan Marchetti & Michele Ruta & Robert Teh, 2012. "Trade Imbalances and Multilateral Trade Cooperation," CESifo Working Paper Series 4050, CESifo Group Munich.
  2. Robert N. McCauley & Guonan Ma, 2013. "Global and Euro Imbalances: China and Germany," SUERF 50th Anniversary Volume Chapters, SUERF - The European Money and Finance Forum.

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