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Trade reforms and current account imbalances

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  • Ju, Jiandong

    ()
    (BOFIT)

  • Shi , Kang

    ()
    (BOFIT)

  • Wei , Shang-Jin

    ()
    (BOFIT)

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 "corrections".

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Bank of Finland, Institute for Economies in Transition in its series BOFIT Discussion Papers with number 25/2013.

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Length: 49 pages
Date of creation: 04 Sep 2013
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:hhs:bofitp:2013_025

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  1. Shang-Jin Wei & Jiandong Ju, 2008. "Current Account Adjustment: Some New Theory and Evidence," 2008 Meeting Papers 851, Society for Economic Dynamics.
  2. Jiandong Ju & Kang Shi & Shang-Jin Wei, 2013. "On the Connections between Intra-temporal and Intertemporal Trades," NBER Chapters, in: NBER International Seminar on Macroeconomics 2013, pages 36-51 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. Shang-Jin Wei & Xiaobo Zhang, 2011. "The Competitive Saving Motive: Evidence from Rising Sex Ratios and Savings Rates in China," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 119(3), pages 511 - 564.
  4. Maurice Obstfeld, 1981. "Aggregate Spending and the Terms of Trade: Is There a Laursen-Metzler Effect?," NBER Working Papers 0686, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  5. Uribe, Martin, 1997. "Exchange-rate-based inflation stabilization: The initial real effects of credible plans," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 39(2), pages 197-221, July.
  6. Qingyuan Du & Shang-Jin Wei, 2010. "A Sexually Unbalanced Model of Current Account Imbalances," NBER Working Papers 16000, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  7. Chris Papageorgiou & Subir Lall & Florence Jaumotte, 2008. "Rising Income Inequality," IMF Working Papers 08/185, International Monetary Fund.
  8. Horag Choi & Nelson C. Mark & Donggyu Sul, 2007. "Endogenous Discounting, the World Saving Glut and the U.S. Current Account," NBER Working Papers 13571, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  9. Mendoza, Enrique G, 1991. "Real Business Cycles in a Small Open Economy," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 81(4), pages 797-818, September.
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