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Trade Reforms and Current Account Imbalances: When Does the General Equilibrium Effect Overturn a Partial Equilibrium Intuition?

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  • Ju, Jiandong
  • Shi, Kang
  • Wei, Shang-Jin

Abstract

In partial equilibrium, a reduction in import barriers may be thought to lead to an increase in imports and a reduction in trade surplus. However, the general equilibrium effect can go in the opposite direction. We study how trade reforms affect current accounts by embedding a modified Heckscher-Ohlin structure and an endogenous discount factor into an intertemporal model of current account. We show that trade liberalizations in a developing country would generally lead to capital outflow. In contrast, trade liberalizations in a developed country would result in capital inflow. Thus, efficient trade reforms can contribute to global current account imbalances, but these imbalances do not need policy

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Paper provided by C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers in its series CEPR Discussion Papers with number 9293.

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Date of creation: Jan 2013
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Handle: RePEc:cpr:ceprdp:9293

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Cited by:
  1. Shenggen Fan & Ravi Kanbur & Shang-Jin Wei & Xiaobo Zhang, 2013. "The Economics of China: Successes and Challenges," NBER Working Papers 19648, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Barattieri, Alessandro, 2014. "Comparative advantage, service trade, and global imbalances," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 92(1), pages 1-13.
  3. Mina Kim & Deokwoo Nam & Jian Wang & Jason Wu, 2013. "International trade price stickiness and exchange rate pass-through in micro data: a case study on U.S.–China trade," Globalization and Monetary Policy Institute Working Paper 135, Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas.
  4. Mina Kim & Deokwoo Nam & Jian Wang & Jason Wu, 2013. "International Trade Price Stickiness and Exchange Rate and Pass-Through in Micro Data: A Case Study on US-China Trade," Working Papers 202013, Hong Kong Institute for Monetary Research.

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