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Current account adjustment in industrialized countries

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  • Caroline L. Freund

Abstract

This paper examines the dynamics of current account adjustment among industrialized countries. We identify twenty-five episodes in which a large sustained improvement in the current account occurred between 1980 and 1997. We find that a typical current account reversal begins when the current account deficit is about 5 percent of GDP, that it is associated with slowing income growth and a 10-20 percent real exchange rate depreciation. Real export growth, declining investment, and an eventual leveling off in both the net international investment position and the budget deficit-GDP ratio are also likely to be part of the adjustment. These results suggest that current account reversals in industrialized countries are largely a function of the business cycle.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.) in its series International Finance Discussion Papers with number 692.

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Date of creation: 2000
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Handle: RePEc:fip:fedgif:692

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Related research

Keywords: Balance of payments ; Business cycles;

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References

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  1. Catherine L. Mann, 1999. "Is the U.S. Trade Deficit Sustainable?," Peterson Institute Press: All Books, Peterson Institute for International Economics, number 47.
  2. Gian Maria Milesi-Ferrett & Assaf Razin, 1998. "Current Account Reversals and Currency Crises: Empirical Regularities," NBER Working Papers 6620, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. Jeffrey A. Frankel & Andrew K. Rose, 1996. "Currency crashes in emerging markets: an empirical treatment," International Finance Discussion Papers 534, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
  4. Hamid Faruqee & Guy Debelle, 1996. "What Determines the Current Account? a Cross-Sectional and Panel Approach," IMF Working Papers 96/58, International Monetary Fund.
  5. Hali J. Edison, 2003. "Do indicators of financial crises work? An evaluation of an early warning system," International Journal of Finance & Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 8(1), pages 11-53.
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