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Twin Deficits, Openness and the Business Cycle

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  • Giancarlo Corsetti
  • Gernot J. Mueller

Abstract

In this paper, we study the co-movement of the government budget balance and the trade balance at business cycle frequencies. In a sample of 10 OECD countries we find that the correlation of the two time series is negative, but less so in more open economies. Moreover, for the US the crosscorrelation function is S-shaped. We analyze these regularities taking the perspective of international business cycle theory. First, we show that a standard model delivers predictions broadly in line with the evidence. Second, we show that conditional on spending shocks the model predicts a perfect correlation of the budget balance and the trade balance. Yet, the effect of spending shocks on the trade balance is contained if an economy is not very open to trade.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by European University Institute in its series Economics Working Papers with number ECO2007/20.

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Date of creation: 2007
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Handle: RePEc:eui:euiwps:eco2007/20

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Keywords: Fiscal Policy; Twin deficits; Openness; Business Cycle;

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  1. Heathcote, Jonathan & Perri, Fabrizio, 2002. "Financial autarky and international business cycles," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 49(3), pages 601-627, April.
  2. Ravn, Morten O., 1997. "International business cycles in theory and in practice," Journal of International Money and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 16(2), pages 255-283, April.
  3. Kim, Soyoung & Roubini, Nouriel, 2008. "Twin deficit or twin divergence? Fiscal policy, current account, and real exchange rate in the U.S," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 74(2), pages 362-383, March.
  4. Giancarlo Corsetti & Gernot J. Müller, 2008. "Twin Deficits, Openness, and the Business Cycle," Journal of the European Economic Association, MIT Press, vol. 6(2-3), pages 404-413, 04-05.
  5. David Backus & Espen Henriksen & Frederic Lambert & Chris Telmer, 2005. "Current Account Fact and Fiction," 2005 Meeting Papers 115, Society for Economic Dynamics.
  6. Backus, David K & Kehoe, Patrick J & Kydland, Finn E, 1994. "Dynamics of the Trade Balance and the Terms of Trade: The J-Curve?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 84(1), pages 84-103, March.
  7. V.V. Chari & Patrick J. Kehoe & Ellen R. McGrattan, 2002. "Can sticky price models generate volatile and persistent real exchange rates?," Staff Report 277, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis.
  8. Roel Beetsma & Massimo Giuliodori & Franc Klaassen, 2008. "The Effects of Public Spending Shocks on Trade Balances and Budget Deficits in the European Union," Journal of the European Economic Association, MIT Press, vol. 6(2-3), pages 414-423, 04-05.
  9. Christopher J. Erceg & Luca Guerrieri & Christopher Gust, 2005. "Expansionary Fiscal Shocks and the US Trade Deficit," International Finance, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 8(3), pages 363-397, December.
  10. Giancarlo Corsetti & Gernot J. Müller, 2005. "Twin Deficits: Squaring Theory, Evidence and Common Sense," Economics Working Papers ECO2005/22, European University Institute.
  11. Gernot Mueller & Giancarlo Corsetti, 2007. "International Dimensions of Fiscal Policy Transmission," 2007 Meeting Papers 726, Society for Economic Dynamics.
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Cited by:
  1. Christopher Gust & Nathan Sheets, 2007. "The adjustment of global external imbalances: does partial exchange rate pass-through to trade prices matter?," International Finance Discussion Papers 850, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
  2. Horag Choi & Nelson C. Mark, 2009. "Trending Current Accounts," NBER Working Papers 15244, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. Martin Boileau & Michel Normandin, 2008. "Do Tax Cuts Generate Twin Deficits? A Multi-Country Analysis," Cahiers de recherche 0832, CIRPEE.
  4. Enders, Zeno & Müller, Gernot J. & Scholl, Almuth, 2008. "How do fiscal and technology shocks affect real exchange rates? New evidence for the United States," CFS Working Paper Series 2008/22, Center for Financial Studies (CFS).
  5. Philip Lane, 2010. "Some Lessons for Fiscal Policy from the Financial Crisis," The Institute for International Integration Studies Discussion Paper Series iiisdp334, IIIS.
  6. Lane, Philip R., 2009. "A New Fiscal Strategy for Ireland," The Economic and Social Review, Economic and Social Studies, vol. 40(2), pages 233–253.
  7. Fratzscher, Marcel & Juvenal, Luciana & Sarno, Lucio, 2010. "Asset prices, exchange rates and the current account," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 54(5), pages 643-658, July.
  8. Ippei Fujiwara & Kozo Ueda, 2012. "The Fiscal Multiplier and Spillover in a Global Liquidity Trap," CAMA Working Papers 2012-17, Centre for Applied Macroeconomic Analysis, Crawford School of Public Policy, The Australian National University.
  9. James Feyrer & Jay C. Shambaugh, 2009. "Global Savings and Global Investment: The Transmission of Identified Fiscal Shocks," NBER Working Papers 15113, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  10. Giancarlo Corsetti & Gernot J. Müller, 2008. "Twin Deficits, Openness, and the Business Cycle," Journal of the European Economic Association, MIT Press, vol. 6(2-3), pages 404-413, 04-05.
  11. Athanasios O. Tagkalakis, 2013. "Discretionary fiscal policy and economic activity in Greece," Working Papers 169, Bank of Greece.

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