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Sustainability of the Malawian Current Account Deficit: Application of Structural and Solvency Approaches

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  • Nkuna, Onelie

Abstract

The objective of the paper is to examine the sustainability of the current account in Malawi. The study employs both econometric analyses and solvency approaches to complement each other. Results from both approaches confirm that Malawi’s current account deficits were excessive and unsustainable during the period of 1980 to 2010. Results from the econometric analysis reveal that for Malawi’s current account to move towards a sustainable path, particular attention should be paid to the following factors; external debt, terms of trade, openness, real exchange rate, net foreign assets and growth. Furthermore, the current account deficit was excessively above the norm, deviating by an average of 5.0 percent during the study period. The solvency approach to current account sustainability, further confirms that the country was running an unsustainable current account deficit. Interestingly, even after the Highly Indebted Poor Countries (HIPC) relief, the current account was still unsustainable. In this regard, policies should ensure that the real exchange rates is not overvalued, growth is enhanced particularly in the export sector and also ensuring that external debt is sustainable will be key to ensuring sustainable current account.

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Paper provided by University Library of Munich, Germany in its series MPRA Paper with number 51919.

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Date of creation: Aug 2013
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Publication status: Published in Journal of Economics and International Finance August 2013.5(5)(2013): pp. 187-198
Handle: RePEc:pra:mprapa:51919

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Keywords: Current Account deficit; External Sustainability; Malawi;

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  1. Husted, Steven, 1992. "The Emerging U.S. Current Account Deficit in the 1980s: A Cointegration Analysis," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 74(1), pages 159-66, February.
  2. Chinn, Menzie D. & Prasad, Eswar S., 2003. "Medium-term determinants of current accounts in industrial and developing countries: an empirical exploration," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, Elsevier, vol. 59(1), pages 47-76, January.
  3. Campbell, John & Perron, Pierre, 1991. "Pitfalls and Opportunities: What Macroeconomists Should Know about Unit Roots," Scholarly Articles 3374863, Harvard University Department of Economics.
  4. Srđan Boljanović, 2012. "A Sustainability Analysis Of Serbia’S Current Account Deficit," Economic Annals, Faculty of Economics, University of Belgrade, vol. 57(195), pages 139-172, October -.
  5. Sophocles Brissimis & George Hondroyiannis & Christos Papazoglou & Nicholas Tsaveas & Melina Vasardani, 2012. "Current account determinants and external sustainability in periods of structural change," Economic Change and Restructuring, Springer, Springer, vol. 45(1), pages 71-95, February.
  6. Maurice Obstfeld & Kenneth S. Rogoff, 1996. "Foundations of International Macroeconomics," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262150476, December.
  7. Graciela Kaminsky & Saul Lizondo & Carmen M. Reinhart, 1998. "Leading Indicators of Currency Crises," IMF Staff Papers, Palgrave Macmillan, vol. 45(1), pages 1-48, March.
  8. M. Hashem Pesaran & Yongcheol Shin & Richard J. Smith, 2001. "Bounds testing approaches to the analysis of level relationships," Journal of Applied Econometrics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 16(3), pages 289-326.
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