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Current account benchmarks for central and eastern Europe: a desperate search?

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  • Ca' Zorzi, Michele
  • Chudik, Alexander
  • Dieppe, Alistair

Abstract

This paper examines two competing approaches for calculating current account benchmarks, i.e. the external sustainability approach á la Lane and Milesi-Ferretti (LM) versus the structural current accounts literature (SCA) based on panel econometric techniques. The aim is to gauge the medium term adjustment in current account positions that may be required in some central and eastern European countries. As regards the LM approach, we show how the outcome is especially sensitive to (i) the normative choice for external indebtedness and (ii) the decision to exclude the foreign direct investment subcomponent from the NFA aggregate. Turning our search to the SCA approach, we assess its sensitivity to model and parameter uncertainty by setting different selection criteria to choose amongst the over 8000 possible combinations of fundamentals. Furthermore, to test the robustness of our findings we combine all models, attaching to each a probability (Bayesian Averaging of Classical Estimates). We show both the LM and SCA methodologies are not immune from severe drawbacks and conceptual difficulties. Nevertheless pulling together the results of both approaches point to the countries that may need a current account adjustment over a medium term horizon. JEL Classification: C11, C33, F15, F32, F34, F41, O52

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by European Central Bank in its series Working Paper Series with number 0995.

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Date of creation: Jan 2009
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Handle: RePEc:ecb:ecbwps:20090995

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Keywords: Capital flows; central and eastern Europe; current account; financial integration; model combination; Model uncertainty; panel data;

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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Florence Jaumotte & Piyaporn Sodsriwiboon, 2010. "Current Account Imbalances in the Southern Euro Area," IMF Working Papers 10/139, International Monetary Fund.
  2. Brissimis, Sophocles N. & Hondroyiannis, George & Papazoglou, Christos & Tsaveas, Nicholas T. & Vasardani, Melina A., 2010. "Current account determinants and external sustainability in periods of structural change," Working Paper Series 1243, European Central Bank.
  3. Herrmann, Sabine, 2009. "Do we really know that flexible exchange rates facilitate current account adjustment? Some new empirical evidence for CEE countries," Discussion Paper Series 1: Economic Studies 2009,22, Deutsche Bundesbank, Research Centre.
  4. Michele Ca' Zorzi & Alexander Chudik & Alistair Dieppe, 2012. "The perils of aggregating foreign variables in panel data models," Globalization and Monetary Policy Institute Working Paper 111, Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas.
  5. Danica Unevska Andonova & Branimir Jovanovic, 2011. "Sustainability of the Macedonian Current Account," Working Papers 2011-06, National Bank of the Republic of Macedonia.
  6. Robert C. York & Misa Takebe, 2011. "External Sustainability of Oil-Producing Sub-Saharan African Countries," IMF Working Papers 11/207, International Monetary Fund.
  7. Irineu E. Carvalho Filho & Rudolfs Bems, 2009. "Exchange Rate Assessments," IMF Working Papers 09/281, International Monetary Fund.
  8. Arratibel, Olga & Furceri, Davide & Martin, Reiner & Zdzienicka, Aleksandra, 2011. "The effect of nominal exchange rate volatility on real macroeconomic performance in the CEE countries," Economic Systems, Elsevier, vol. 35(2), pages 261-277, June.
  9. Bussière, Matthieu & Ca' Zorzi, Michele & Chudik, Alexander & Dieppe, Alistair, 2010. "Methodological advances in the assessment of equilibrium exchange rates," Working Paper Series 1151, European Central Bank.
  10. Smith, Constance E., 2011. "External balance adjustment: An intra-national and international comparison," Journal of International Money and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 30(6), pages 1195-1213, October.

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