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Towards a Theory of Current Accounts

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  • Ventura, Jaume

Abstract

The current accounts data of industrial countries exhibits some strong patterns that are inconsistent with the intertemporal approach to the current account. This is the basic model that international economists have been using for more than two decades to think about current account issues. This paper shows that it is possible to go a long way towards reconciling the theory and the data by introducing two additional features to the basic model: investment risk and adjustment costs to investment. Moreover, these extensions generate new and unexpected theoretical predictions that receive substantial support in the data. The overall message is therefore positive: with a couple of reasonable modifications, the intertemporal approach to the current account provides a fairly good description of the industrial country data.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers in its series CEPR Discussion Papers with number 3545.

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Date of creation: Sep 2002
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Handle: RePEc:cpr:ceprdp:3545

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Keywords: current account theory; short and long term capital flows;

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References

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  1. Kraay, Aart & Ventura, Jaume, 1997. "Current accounts in debtor and creditor countries," Policy Research Working Paper Series 1825, The World Bank.
  2. Razin, A., 1993. "The Dynamic-Optimizing Approach to the Current Account: Theory and Evidence," Papers 2-93, Tel Aviv - the Sackler Institute of Economic Studies.
  3. Aart Kraay & Jaume Ventura, 2002. "Current Accounts in the Long and Short Run," NBER Working Papers 9030, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  4. Tesar, L.L., 1988. "Savings, Investment And International Capital Flows," RCER Working Papers 154, University of Rochester - Center for Economic Research (RCER).
  5. Loayza, Norman & Schmidt-Hebbel, Klaus & Serven, Luis, 2000. "What drives private saving around the world?," Policy Research Working Paper Series 2309, The World Bank.
  6. Maurice Obstfeld & Kenneth Rogoff, 1994. "The Intertemporal Approach to the Current Account," NBER Working Papers 4893, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  7. Reuven Glick & Kenneth Rogoff, 1992. "Global Versus Country-Specific Productivity Shocks and the Current Account," NBER Working Papers 4140, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  8. Aart Kraay & Norman Loayza & Luis Serven & Jaume Ventura, 2000. "Country Portfolios," NBER Working Papers 7795, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  9. Feldstein, Martin & Horioka, Charles, 1980. "Domestic Saving and International Capital Flows," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 90(358), pages 314-29, June.
  10. 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.
  11. 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.
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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Fernando Broner & Jaume Ventura, 2010. "Rethinking the effects of financial liberalization," Economics Working Papers 1128, Department of Economics and Business, Universitat Pompeu Fabra, revised Oct 2013.
  2. Chayawadee Chai-anant & Ubonrat Jantarang, 2004. "Current Account Adjustment and Policy Instrument Responsiveness," Working Papers 2004-04, Economic Research Department, Bank of Thailand.
  3. Sebastian Edwards, 2004. "Thirty Years of Current Account Imbalances, Current Account Reversals, and Sudden Stops," IMF Staff Papers, Palgrave Macmillan, vol. 51(s1), pages 1-49, June.
  4. Georgopoulos, George & Hejazi, Walid, 2009. "The Feldstein-Horioka puzzle revisited: Is the home-bias much less?," International Review of Economics & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 18(2), pages 341-350, March.
  5. Sebastián Edwards, 2008. "On Current Account Surpluses and the Correction of Global Imbalances," Central Banking, Analysis, and Economic Policies Book Series, in: Kevin Cowan & Sebastián Edwards & Rodrigo O. Valdés & Norman Loayza (Series Editor) & Klaus Schmid (ed.), Current Account and External Financing, edition 1, volume 12, chapter 2, pages 025-083 Central Bank of Chile.
  6. Helmut Herwartz & Florian Siedenburg, 2007. "Determinants of Current Account Imbalances in 16 OECD Countries: An Out-Of-Sample Perspective," Review of World Economics (Weltwirtschaftliches Archiv), Springer, vol. 143(2), pages 349-374, July.
  7. Herrmann, Sabine & Jochem, Axel, 2005. "Determinants of current account developments in the central and east European EU member states - consequences for the enlargement of the euro area," Discussion Paper Series 1: Economic Studies 2005,32, Deutsche Bundesbank, Research Centre.

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