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What drives U.S. current account fluctuations?

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  • Barnett, Alina
  • Straub, Roland

Abstract

We use a structural VAR with sign restrictions to jointly identify the impact of monetary policy, private absorption, technology and oil price shocks on current account fluctuations in the U.S.. We derive the sign restrictions from theoretical impulse response functions of a DSGE model with oil, ensuring that these are consistent with a broad range of parameter values. We find that a contractionary oil price shock has a negative effect on the current account which lasts for approximately 3 years. We also find that monetary policy shocks and private absorption shocks are the main drivers of historical current account deteriorations in the U.S. Furthermore, monetary policy shocks can explain approximately 60 percent at a one year forecast horizon, although this reduces to around 40 per cent at a 7 year horizon, whilst the oil price explains just under 10 percent of the forecast error variance of the U.S. current account. JEL Classification: E0, F32, F4

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by European Central Bank in its series Working Paper Series with number 0959.

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Date of creation: Nov 2008
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Handle: RePEc:ecb:ecbwps:20080959

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Keywords: current account; global imbalances; sign restrictions;

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References

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  1. Bilbiie, Florin O. & Straub, Roland, 2012. "Asset market participation, monetary policy rules and the great inflation," Working Paper Series 1438, European Central Bank.
  2. Olivier J. Blanchard & Jordi Gali, 2007. "The Macroeconomic Effects of Oil Shocks: Why are the 2000s So Different from the 1970s?," NBER Working Papers 13368, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. Bodenstein, Martin & Erceg, Christopher J. & Guerrieri, Luca, 2011. "Oil shocks and external adjustment," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 83(2), pages 168-184, March.
  4. Richard Clarida & Jordi Gali & Mark Gertler, 1998. "Monetary Policy Rules and Macroeconomic Stability: Evidence and Some Theory," NBER Working Papers 6442, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  5. Benati, Luca & Surico, Paolo, 2008. "VAR analysis and the Great Moderation," Working Paper Series 0866, European Central Bank.
  6. Hans-Martin Krolzig & Michael P. Clements, 2002. "Can oil shocks explain asymmetries in the US Business Cycle?," Empirical Economics, Springer, vol. 27(2), pages 185-204.
  7. Canova, Fabio & Nicolo, Gianni De, 2002. "Monetary disturbances matter for business fluctuations in the G-7," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 49(6), pages 1131-1159, September.
  8. Bems, Rudolfs & Dedola, Luca & Smets, Frank, 2007. "US imbalances: the role of technology and policy," Working Paper Series 0719, European Central Bank.
  9. Canova, Fabio, 2003. "The Transmission of US Shocks to Latin America," CEPR Discussion Papers 3963, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  10. Olivier J. Blanchard & Jordi Galí, 2007. "The Macroeconomic Effects of Oil Price Shocks: Why are the 2000s so different from the 1970s?," Working Papers 0711, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Center for Energy and Environmental Policy Research.
  11. Bernanke, Ben S & Gertler, Mark & Watson, Mark W, 2004. "Oil Shocks and Aggregate Macroeconomic Behavior: The Role of Monetary Policy: Reply," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 36(2), pages 287-91, April.
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Cited by:
  1. Fratzscher, Marcel & Saborowski, Christian & Straub, Roland, 2010. "Monetary Policy Shocks and Portfolio Choice," CEPR Discussion Papers 8099, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  2. Buetzer, Sascha & Habib, Maurizio Michael & Stracca, Livio, 2012. "Global exchange rate configurations: Do oil shocks matter?," Working Paper Series 1442, European Central Bank.
  3. Tim Oliver Berg, 2013. "Cross-country evidence on the relation between stock prices and the current account," Applied Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 45(16), pages 2267-2277, June.
  4. Berg, Tim Oliver, 2009. "Cross-country evidence on the relation between equity prices and the current account," IMFS Working Paper Series 22, Institute for Monetary and Financial Stability (IMFS), Goethe University Frankfurt.
  5. Kim, C., 2011. "Global balance and financial stability: twin objectives toward a resilient global economic system," Financial Stability Review, Banque de France, issue 15, pages 61-72, February.

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