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An Equilibrium Model of "Global Imbalances" and Low Interest Rates

  • Ricardo J. Caballero
  • Emmanuel Farhi
  • Pierre-Olivier Gourinchas

The sustained rise in US current account deficits, the stubborn decline in long-run real rates, and the rise in US assets in global portfolios appear as anomalies from the perspective of conventional models. This paper rationalizes these facts as an equilibrium outcome when different regions of the world differ in their capacity to generate financial assets from real investments. Extensions of the basic model generate exchange rate and foreign direct investment excess returns broadly consistent with the recent trends in these variables. The framework is flexible enough to shed light on a range of scenarios in a global equilibrium environment. (JEL: E44, F21, F31, F32)

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File URL: http://www.aeaweb.org/articles.php?doi=10.1257/aer.98.1.358
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File URL: http://www.aeaweb.org/aer/data/mar08/20060199_data.zip
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Article provided by American Economic Association in its journal American Economic Review.

Volume (Year): 98 (2008)
Issue (Month): 1 (March)
Pages: 358-93

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Handle: RePEc:aea:aecrev:v:98:y:2008:i:1:p:358-93
Note: DOI: 10.1257/aer.98.1.358
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  1. Ricardo J. Caballero & Arvind Krishnamurthy, 2005. "Bubbles and Capital Flow Volatility: Causes and Risk Management," NBER Working Papers 11618, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Philip Lane & Gian Maria Milesi-Ferretti, 2005. "A Global Perspective on External Positions," The Institute for International Integration Studies Discussion Paper Series iiisdp079, IIIS.
  3. Christian Broda & David E. Weinstein, 2006. "Globalization and the Gains From Variety," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 121(2), pages 541-585.
  4. Caballero, Ricardo J & Farhi, Emmanuel & Gourinchas, Pierre-Olivier, 2006. "An Equilibrium Model of "Global Imbalances" and Low Interest Rates," Center for International and Development Economics Research, Working Paper Series qt7xc0g8mm, Center for International and Development Economics Research, Institute for Business and Economic Research, UC Berkeley.
  5. Ricardo Caballero & Emmanuel Farhi & Mohamad L. Hammour, 2004. "Speculative Growth: Hints from the US Economy," NBER Working Papers 10518, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  6. David Weinstein & Christian Broda, 2004. "Globalization and the Gains from Variety," Econometric Society 2004 North American Summer Meetings 508, Econometric Society.
  7. Cavallo, Eduardo A. & Frankel, Jeffrey A., 2008. "Does openness to trade make countries more vulnerable to sudden stops, or less? Using gravity to establish causality," Journal of International Money and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 27(8), pages 1430-1452, December.
  8. Sebastian Edwards, 2005. "Is the U.S. Current Account Deficit Sustainable? And If Not, How Costly is Adjustment Likely To Be?," NBER Working Papers 11541, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  9. Pierre-Olivier Gourinchas & Hélène Rey, 2007. "From World Banker to World Venture Capitalist: U.S. External Adjustment and the Exorbitant Privilege," NBER Chapters, in: G7 Current Account Imbalances: Sustainability and Adjustment, pages 11-66 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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  11. Chinn, Menzie David & Frankel, Jeffrey A., 2005. "Will the Euro Eventually Surpass the Dollar as Leading International Reserve Currency?," Center for Global, International and Regional Studies, Working Paper Series qt6p4215w1, Center for Global, International and Regional Studies, UC Santa Cruz.
  12. Jiandong Ju & Shang-Jin Wei, 2006. "A Solution to Two Paradoxes of International Capital Flows," NBER Working Papers 12668, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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  15. Soyoung Kim & Nouriel Roubini, 2004. "Twin Deficit or Twin Divergence? Fiscal Policy, Current Account, and Real Exchange Rate in the US," Econometric Society 2004 North American Winter Meetings 271, Econometric Society.
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  17. Chinn, Menzie D. & Ito, Hiro, 2007. "Current account balances, financial development and institutions: Assaying the world "saving glut"," Journal of International Money and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 26(4), pages 546-569, June.
  18. Ben S. Bernanke, 2005. "The global saving glut and the U.S. current account deficit," Speech 77, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
  19. William R. Cline, 2005. "United States as a Debtor Nation, The," Peterson Institute Press: All Books, Peterson Institute for International Economics, number 3993.
  20. Richard H. Clarida, 2007. "G7 Current Account Imbalances: Sustainability and Adjustment," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number clar06-2, June.
  21. Kenneth Rogoff & William Brainard & George Perry, . "Global Current Account Imbalances and Exchange Rate Adjustments," Working Paper 33687, Harvard University OpenScholar.
  22. Michael P. Dooley & David Folkerts-Landau & Peter M. Garber, 2005. "An essay on the revived Bretton Woods system," Proceedings, Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco, issue Feb.
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  24. Martin Feldstein, 2005. "Monetary Policy in a Changing International Environment: The Role of Global Capital Flows," NBER Working Papers 11856, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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