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  • Aart Kraay
  • Norman Loayza
  • Luis Servén

Abstract

How do countries hold their financial wealth? We construct a new database of countries’ claims on capital located at home and abroad, and international borrowing and lending, covering 68 countries from 1966 to 1997. We find that a small amount of capital flows from rich countries to poor countries. Countries’ foreign asset positions are remarkably persistent, and mostly take the form of foreign loans rather than foreign equity. To interpret these facts, we build a simple model of international capital flows that highlights the interplay between diminishing returns, production risk and sovereign risk. We show that in the presence of reasonable diminishing returns and production risk, the probability that international crises occur twice a century is enough to generate a set of country portfolios that are roughly consistent with the data.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Central Bank of Chile in its series Working Papers Central Bank of Chile with number 91.

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Date of creation: Apr 2001
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Handle: RePEc:chb:bcchwp:91

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References

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  1. Gian-Maria Milesi-Ferretti & Philip R. Lane, 1999. "The External Wealth of Nations," IMF Working Papers 99/115, International Monetary Fund.
  2. Eaton, Jonathan & Fernandez, Raquel, 1995. "Sovereign debt," Handbook of International Economics, in: G. M. Grossman & K. Rogoff (ed.), Handbook of International Economics, edition 1, volume 3, chapter 3, pages 2031-2077 Elsevier.
  3. repec:fth:calaec:16-92 is not listed on IDEAS
  4. Bulow, Jeremy & Rogoff, Kenneth, 1989. "Sovereign Debt: Is to Forgive to Forget?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 79(1), pages 43-50, March.
  5. repec:rus:hseeco:123922 is not listed on IDEAS
  6. Kraay, Aart & Loayza, Norman & Servén, Luis & Ventura, Jaume, 2001. "Country Portfolios," CEPR Discussion Papers 2974, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  7. Roberto Chang & Andrés Velasco, 1999. "Liquidity Crises in Emerging Markets: Theory and Policy," Documentos de Trabajo 59, Centro de Economía Aplicada, Universidad de Chile.
  8. Lucas, Robert E, Jr, 1990. "Why Doesn't Capital Flow from Rich to Poor Countries?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 80(2), pages 92-96, May.
  9. Philip Lane & Gian Maria Milesi-Ferretti, 2001. "THE EXTERNAL WEALTH OF NATIONS: Measures of Foreign Assets and Liabilities For Industrial and Developing Countries," CEG Working Papers 20012, Trinity College Dublin, Department of Economics.
  10. Eaton, Jonathan & Gersovitz, Mark, 1981. "Debt with Potential Repudiation: Theoretical and Empirical Analysis," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 48(2), pages 289-309, April.
  11. Kraay, Aart & Ventura, Jaume, 1997. "Current accounts in debtor and creditor countries," Policy Research Working Paper Series 1825, The World Bank.
  12. Feldstein, Martin & Horioka, Charles, 1980. "Domestic Saving and International Capital Flows," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 90(358), pages 314-29, June.
  13. Robert E. Hall & Charles I. Jones, 1999. "Why Do Some Countries Produce So Much More Output Per Worker Than Others?," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 114(1), pages 83-116, February.
  14. Mark Rider, 1994. "External Debt and Liabilities of Industrial Countries," RBA Research Discussion Papers rdp9405, Reserve Bank of Australia.
  15. Carmen M. Reinhart & Kenneth S. Rogoff & Miguel A. Savastano, 2003. "Debt Intolerance," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 34(1), pages 1-74.
  16. French, Kenneth R & Poterba, James M, 1991. "Investor Diversification and International Equity Markets," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 81(2), pages 222-26, May.
  17. Rui Albuquerque, 2004. "The Composition of International Capital Flows: Risk Sharing Through Foreign Direct Investment," International Finance 0405004, EconWPA.
  18. Karen K. Lewis, 1999. "Trying to Explain Home Bias in Equities and Consumption," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 37(2), pages 571-608, June.
  19. Lane, Philip & Milesi-Ferretti, Gian Maria, . "External Wealth of Nations," Instructional Stata datasets for econometrics extwealth, Boston College Department of Economics.
  20. Maurice Obstfeld & Kenneth S. Rogoff, 1996. "Foundations of International Macroeconomics," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262150476, December.
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