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Macroeconomic Uncertainty, Precautionary Savings and the Current Account

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  • Jonathan David Ostry
  • Atish R. Ghosh

Abstract

The relationship between current account developments and changes in the macroeconomic environment remains a key issue in open economy macroeconomics. This paper extends the standard intertemporal optimizing model of the current account to incorporate the effects of macroeconomic uncertainty on private savings behavior. It is shown that the greater the uncertainty in national cash flow, defined as output less investment less government expenditure, the greater is the precautionary demand for savings and, other things equal, the larger is the current account surplus. Empirical support for the model is found using quarterly data from four large industrial countries.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by International Monetary Fund in its series IMF Working Papers with number 92/72.

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Length: 44
Date of creation: 01 Sep 1992
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:imf:imfwpa:92/72

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  1. Caballero, Ricardo J., 1990. "Consumption puzzles and precautionary savings," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 25(1), pages 113-136, January.
  2. Miles Kimball & Philippe Weil, 2003. "Precautionary Saving and Consumption Smoothing Across Time and Possibilities," Sciences Po publications 4005, Sciences Po.
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  4. Pagan, Adrian, 1984. "Econometric Issues in the Analysis of Regressions with Generated Regressors," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 25(1), pages 221-47, February.
  5. Zeldes, Stephen P, 1989. "Optimal Consumption with Stochastic Income: Deviations from Certainty Equivalence," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 104(2), pages 275-98, May.
  6. DREZE, Jacques H. & MODIGLIANI, Franco, . "Cosumption decisions under uncertainty," CORE Discussion Papers RP -119, Université catholique de Louvain, Center for Operations Research and Econometrics (CORE).
  7. Hall, Robert E, 1988. "Intertemporal Substitution in Consumption," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 96(2), pages 339-57, April.
  8. Marianne Baxter & Urban J. Jermann & Robert G. King, 1995. "Nontraded Goods, Nontraded Factors, and International Non-Diversification," NBER Working Papers 5175, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  9. Sheffrin, S.M. & Woo, W.T., 1989. "Present Value Tests Of An Intertemporal Model Of The Current Account," Papers 61, California Davis - Institute of Governmental Affairs.
  10. Frenkel, Jacob A & Razin, Assaf, 1987. "Fiscal Policies and the World Economy; An Intertemporal Approach (Cambridge, Mass.: MIT Press, 1987)," MPRA Paper 20438, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  11. Miles S. Kimball, 1989. "Precautionary Saving in the Small and in the Large," NBER Working Papers 2848, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  12. Ghosh, Atish R, 1995. "International Capital Mobility amongst the Major Industrialised Countries: Too Little or Too Much?," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 105(428), pages 107-28, January.
  13. Bollerslev, Tim & Engle, Robert F & Wooldridge, Jeffrey M, 1988. "A Capital Asset Pricing Model with Time-Varying Covariances," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 96(1), pages 116-31, February.
  14. Milton Friedman, 1957. "A Theory of the Consumption Function," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number frie57-1, June.
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  16. Miller, Bruce L., 1976. "The effect on optimal consumption of increased uncertainty in labor income in the multiperiod case," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 13(1), pages 154-167, August.
  17. Christopher D. Carroll, 1992. "The Buffer-Stock Theory of Saving: Some Macroeconomic Evidence," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 23(2), pages 61-156.
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