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Short- And Medium-Term Determinants Of Current Account Balances In Middle East And North Africa Countries

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  • Aleksander Aristovnik

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Abstract

The main aim of the paper is to examine the short- and medium-term empirical link between current account balances and a broad set of (economic) variables proposed by theoretical and empirical literature. The paper focuses on the Middle East and North Africa (MENA), an economically diverse region, which has so far mainly been neglected in such empirical analyzes. For this purpose, a (dynamic) panel-regression technique is used to characterize the properties of current account variations across selected MENA economies in the 1971-2005 period. The results, which are generally consistent with theoretical and previous empirical analyses, indicate that higher (domestic and foreign) investment, government expenditure and foreign interest rates have a negative effect on the current account balance. On the other hand, a more open economy, higher oil prices and domestic economic growth generate an improvement in the external balance, whereas the latter implies that the domestic growth rate is associated with a larger increase in domestic savings than investment. Finally, the results show a relatively high persistency of current accounts and reject the validity of the stages of development hypothesis as poorer countries in the region reveal a higher current account surplus (or lower deficit).

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by William Davidson Institute at the University of Michigan in its series William Davidson Institute Working Papers Series with number wp862.

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Length: pages
Date of creation: 01 Mar 2007
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:wdi:papers:2007-862

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Keywords: MENA countries; current account; determinants; dynamic panel data;

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  1. Calderon Cesar Augusto & Chong Alberto & Loayza Norman V., 2002. "Determinants of Current Account Deficits in Developing Countries," The B.E. Journal of Macroeconomics, De Gruyter, vol. 2(1), pages 1-33, March.
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  7. Bussière, Matthieu & Fratzscher, Marcel & Müller, Gernot J., 2004. "Current accounts dynamics in OECD and EU acceding countries - an intertemporal approach," Working Paper Series 0311, European Central Bank.
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Cited by:
  1. Yang, Lucun, 2011. "An Empirical Analysis of Current Account Determinants in Emerging Asian Economies," Cardiff Economics Working Papers E2011/10, Cardiff University, Cardiff Business School, Economics Section.
  2. Danica Unevska Andonova & Branimir Jovanovic, 2011. "Sustainability of the Macedonian Current Account," Working Papers 2011-06, National Bank of the Republic of Macedonia.

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