U.S. External Adjustment: Is It Disorderly? Is It Unique? Will It Disrupt The Rest Of The World?
"This article focuses on the historical experience with U.S. external adjustment, that is, narrowings of the trade deficit. Using data from the past 35 years, we compare economic performance in episodes during which the U.S. trade balance declined against episodes during which it rose. We find that trade balance adjustment has been generally benign: U.S. real gross domestic product growth tended to fall but not to a statistically significant extent; housing construction slumped; inflation generally rose modestly; and although nominal interest rates tended to rise, real interest rates fell. The article then compares these outcomes to those in foreign industrial economies. We find that the economic performance of the United States during periods of external adjustment is remarkably similar to the foreign experience. Finally, we also examine the performance of the foreign industrial economies during the periods when the U.S. trade deficit widened and narrowed. Contrary to concerns that U.S. adjustment will prove injurious to foreign economies, our analysis suggests that the foreign economies fared reasonably well during past periods when the U.S. trade deficit narrowed. "("JEL "F32, F41) Copyright (c) 2009 Western Economic Association International.
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Volume (Year): 27 (2009)
Issue (Month): 2 (April)
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References listed on IDEAS
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