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Structural and Cyclical Factors behind Current-Account Balances

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  • Calista Cheung
  • Davide Furceri
  • Elena Rusticelli

Abstract

Global external imbalances widened persistently over the last several years and have narrowed abruptly over the course of the financial crisis. Understanding the extent to which structural or cyclical factors may have driven these patterns is important to assess the likely evolution of global imbalances going forward, as well as the potential adjustment that can be achieved through changes in policy. This paper assesses the link between structural and cyclical factors and current-account balances using a panel of 94 countries from 1973 to 2008. We find that the medium-term evolution of global external imbalances can be related in large part to structural factors including cross-country differences in demographics, fiscal deficits, oil dependency and intensity, stage of economic development, financial market development, and institutional quality. Part of the narrowing in current-account balances since the financial crisis appears to be related to various cyclical factors including changes in output growth, oil prices, and exchange rates, and may be expected to reverse alongside the economic recovery. Les facteurs structurels et cycliques derrière l'évolution des comptes courantsGlobal external imbalances widened persistently over the last several years and have narrowed abruptly over the course of the financial crisis. Understanding the extent to whic Des déséquilibres externes mondiaux se sont élargis constamment au cours des dernières années et puis se sont réduits abruptement au cours de la crise financière. Comprendre dans quelle mesure des facteurs structurels ou cycliques ont conduit ces évolutions est important pour évaluer l'évolution probable des déséquilibres mondiaux à l’avenir, ainsi que l'ajustement potentiel qui peut être réalisé par des changements de la politique. Cette étude évalue les facteurs structurels et cycliques qui influencent des balances courantes en utilisant un panneau de 94 pays de 1973 à 2008. Nous constatons que l'évolution à moyen terme des déséquilibres externes mondiaux a été conduite en grande partie par des facteurs structurels comprenant des différences internationales dans la démographie, les déficits publics, la dépendance et l'intensité en pétrole, le niveau de développement économique, le développement des marchés financiers, et la qualité institutionnelle. Une partie du rétrécissement des équilibres de compte courant depuis la crise financière semble être liée à de divers facteurs cycliques comprenant des changements dans la croissance de la production, le prix du pétrole, et les taux de change, et pourrait s’inverser avec la reprise économique.c

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by OECD Publishing in its series OECD Economics Department Working Papers with number 775.

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Date of creation: 20 May 2010
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Handle: RePEc:oec:ecoaaa:775-en

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Keywords: current account; global imbalances; compte courant; déséquilibres mondiaux;

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  1. Germany's current account surplus: Structural or cyclical?
    by Cliff in cliffeconomics on 2013-11-16 21:00:00
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Cited by:
  1. Theofilakou, Nancy & Stournaras, Yannis, 2012. "Current account adjustments in OECD countries revisited: The role of the fiscal stance," Journal of Policy Modeling, Elsevier, vol. 34(5), pages 719-734.
  2. Jan Behringer & Till van Treeck, 2013. "Income distribution and current account: A sectoral perspective," IMK Working Paper 125-2013, IMK at the Hans Boeckler Foundation, Macroeconomic Policy Institute.
  3. Joseph E. Gagnon, 2012. "Global Imbalances and Foreign Asset Expansion by Developing Economy Central Banks," Working Paper Series WP12-5, Peterson Institute for International Economics.
  4. Das, Debasish Kumar, 2012. "Determinants of current account imbalances in the global economy: A dynamic panel analysis," MPRA Paper 42419, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  5. Clovis Kerdrain & Isabell Koske & Isabelle Wanner, 2010. "The Impact of Structural Policies on Saving, Investment and Current Accounts," OECD Economics Department Working Papers 815, OECD Publishing.
  6. Blaise Gnimassoun, 2014. "The importance of the exchange rate regime in limiting current account imbalances in sub-Saharan African countries," EconomiX Working Papers 2014-22, University of Paris West - Nanterre la Défense, EconomiX.
  7. Jean-Pierre Allegret & Cécile Couharde & Dramane Coulibaly & Valérie Mignon, 2013. "Current Accounts and Oil Price Fluctuations in Oil-Exporting Countries: the Role of Financial Development," Working Papers 2013-19, CEPII research center.
  8. Hakan KARA & Çağrı SARIKAYA, 2013. "Türkiye’de Konjonktürel Etkilerden Arındırılmış Cari İşlemler Dengesi," Iktisat Isletme ve Finans, Bilgesel Yayincilik, vol. 28(332), pages 09-32.
  9. Fabrizio Coricelli & Andreas Wörgötter, 2012. "Structural Change and the Current Account: The Case of Germany," OECD Economics Department Working Papers 940, OECD Publishing.
  10. Davide Furceri & Stéphanie Guichard & Elena Rusticelli, 2011. "Medium-Term Determinants of International Investment Positions: The Role of Structural Policies," OECD Economics Department Working Papers 863, OECD Publishing.
  11. Jan Behringer & Till van Treeck, 2013. "Income Distribution and the Current Account: A Sectoral Perspective," INET Research Notes 35, Institute for New Economic Thinking (INET).
  12. Steven Phillips & Luis Catão & Luca Antonio Ricci & Rudolfs Bems & Mitali Das & Julian di Giovanni & D. Filiz Unsal & Marola Castillo & Jungjin Lee & Jair Rodriguez & Mauricio Vargas, 2013. "The External Balance Assessment (EBA) Methodology," IMF Working Papers 13/272, International Monetary Fund.
  13. Gossé, Jean-Baptiste & Serranito, Francisco, 2014. "Long-run determinants of current accounts in OECD countries: Lessons for intra-European imbalances," Economic Modelling, Elsevier, vol. 38(C), pages 451-462.
  14. Clovis Kerdrain & Isabell Koske & Isabelle Wanner, 2011. "Current Account Imbalances: can Structural Reforms Help to Reduce Them?," OECD Journal: Economic Studies, OECD Publishing, vol. 2011(1), pages 1-44.
  15. Joseph E. Gagnon, 2013. "The Elephant Hiding in the Room: Currency Intervention and Trade Imbalances," Working Paper Series WP13-2, Peterson Institute for International Economics.

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