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A Model of Endogenous Nontradability and its Implications for the Current Account

  • Paul Bergin
  • Reuven Glick

This paper studies how nontraded goods limit the ability of a country to finance current account deficits. It uses an intertemporal model of the current account for a small open economy where goods are endogenously nontraded due to explicit trade costs. The economy has an endowment of two goods with differing trade costs, either of which can be traded or nontraded in equilibrium. The model implies that current account deficits impose a cost, in the form of raising the effective interest rate in the country. The findings differ from some recent studies: first, in that the interest rate rises even for countries with modest current account deficits; secondly, the interest rate cost eventually reaches an upper bound as current account deficits grow, and progressively more nontraded goods become traded to service the debt. Panel regression analysis of interest rate and current account data is consistent with our conclusions. Copyright � 2007 The Authors; Journal compilation � 2007 Blackwell Publishing Ltd.

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Article provided by Wiley Blackwell in its journal Review of International Economics.

Volume (Year): 15 (2007)
Issue (Month): 5 (November)
Pages: 916-931

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Handle: RePEc:bla:reviec:v:15:y:2007:i:5:p:916-931
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  1. Bovenberg, A.L. & Gordon, R.H., 1996. "Why is capital so immobile internationally? Possible explanation and implications for capital income taxation," Other publications TiSEM 6a131c21-fd9a-4d83-8d9a-7, Tilburg University, School of Economics and Management.
  2. Andrew B. Bernard & J. Bradford Jensen, 2004. "Why Some Firms Export," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 86(2), pages 561-569, May.
  3. David K. Backus & Patrick J. Kehoe & Finn E. Kydland, 1987. "International real business cycles," Working Papers 426, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis.
  4. Sercu, Piet & Uppal, Raman & Van Hulle, Cynthia, 1995. " The Exchange Rate in the Presence of Transaction Costs: Implications for Tests of Purchasing Power Parity," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 50(4), pages 1309-19, September.
  5. Gordon, R.H. & Bovenberg, A.L., 1994. "Why is capital so immobile internationally? : Possible explanations and implications for capital income taxation," Discussion Paper 1994-63, Tilburg University, Center for Economic Research.
  6. Maurice Obstfeld & Kenneth S. Rogoff, 1996. "Foundations of International Macroeconomics," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262150476, June.
  7. Dumas, Bernard, 1992. "Dynamic Equilibrium and the Real Exchange Rate in a Spatially Separated World," Review of Financial Studies, Society for Financial Studies, vol. 5(2), pages 153-80.
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