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The End of Large Current Account Deficits, 1970-2002: Are There Lessons for the United States?

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  • Sebastian Edwards

Abstract

The future of the U.S. current account -- and thus of the U.S. dollar -- depend on whether foreign investors will continue to add U.S. assets to their investment portfolios. However, even under optimistic scenarios, the U.S. current account deficit is likely to go through a significant reversal at some point in time. This adjustment may be as large of 4% to 5% of GDP. In order to have an idea of the possible consequences of this type of adjustment, I have analyzed the international evidence on current account reversals using both non-parametric techniques as well as panel regressions. The results from this empirical investigation indicate that major current account reversals have tended to result in large declines in GDP growth. I also analyze the large U.S. current account adjustment of 1987-1991.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 11669.

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Date of creation: Oct 2005
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Publication status: published as Sebastian Edwards, 2005. "The end of large current account deficits : 1970-2002 : are there lessons for the United States?," Proceedings - Economic Policy Symposium - Jackson Hole, Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City, issue Aug, pages 205-268.
Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:11669

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  1. Guillermo A. Calvo & Alejandro Izquierdo & Luis Fernando Mejía, 2004. "On the Empirics of Sudden Stops: The Relevance of Balance-Sheet Effects," IDB Publications 6516, Inter-American Development Bank.
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Cited by:
  1. William D. Craighead & David R. Hineline, 2011. "As the Current Account Turns: Disaggregating the Effects of Current Account Reversals in Industrial Countries," Wesleyan Economics Working Papers 2011-002, Wesleyan University, Department of Economics.
  2. Chris Hunt, 2008. "Financial turmoil and global imbalances: the end of Bretton Woods II?," Reserve Bank of New Zealand Bulletin, Reserve Bank of New Zealand, vol. 71, September.
  3. Campa, Jose M. & Gavilán, Angel, 2006. "Current accounts in the euro area: An intertemporal approach," IESE Research Papers D/651, IESE Business School.
  4. Sebastian Edwards, 2006. "External Imbalances in an Advanced, Commodity-Exporting Country: The Case of New Zealand," NBER Working Papers 12620, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  5. Roberto Alvarez, 2011. "Export transitions," The Journal of International Trade & Economic Development, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 20(2), pages 221-250.
  6. Carmen M. Reinhart & Vincent R. Reinhart, 2008. "Capital Flow Bonanzas: An Encompassing View of the Past and Present," NBER Working Papers 14321, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  7. Kristin J. Forbes & Francis E. Warnock, 2011. "Capital Flow Waves: Surges, Stops, Flight, and Retrenchment," NBER Working Papers 17351, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  8. Patrick A. Imam, 2008. "Rapid Current Account Adjustments," IMF Working Papers 08/233, International Monetary Fund.
  9. Andrew Filardo, 2009. "Short-Term Policy Responses to the International Financial Crisis and Risks to Sustainable Medium-Term Policy Frameworks in Asia : Complications Arising from Enduring Global Imbalances," EABER Working Papers 22862, East Asian Bureau of Economic Research.
  10. Campa, Jose Manuel & Gavilan, Angel, 2011. "Current accounts in the euro area: An intertemporal approach," Journal of International Money and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 30(1), pages 205-228, February.
  11. Jean-Pierre Andre, 2011. "Economic Imbalances: New Zealand's Structural Challenge," Treasury Working Paper Series 11/03, New Zealand Treasury.

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