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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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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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  17. Michael P. Dooley & David Folkerts-Landau & Peter Garber, 2003. "An Essay on the Revived Bretton Woods System," NBER Working Papers 9971, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  18. Olivier Blanchard & Francesco Giavazzi & Filipa Sa, 2005. "The U.S. Current Account and the Dollar," NBER Working Papers 11137, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  19. Ricardo J. Caballero & Emmanuel Farhi & Mohamad L. Hammour, 2006. "Speculative Growth: Hints from the U.S. Economy," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 96(4), pages 1159-1192, September.
  20. 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.
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