IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/a/bla/reviec/v17y2009i4p689-715.html
   My bibliography  Save this article

Can International Productivity Differences Alone Account for the US Current Account Deficits?

Author

Listed:
  • Suparna Chakraborty
  • Robert Dekle

Abstract

An influential explanation for the recent rise in the US current account deficit is the boom in US productivity. As US productivity surged in the mid‐1990s, capital was attracted to the US to take advantage of the higher real returns. Using a two‐country general‐equilibrium model, this paper quantitatively shows that the gap in productivity growth between the US and the “rest of the world” cannot explain the US current account deficits, especially in the 1980s and the 2000s. This is because on a GDP‐weighted basis, the “rest of the world” actually had higher productivity growth during these periods, and standard macroeconomic models would predict an outflow of funds from the US to the rest of the world, and a consequent US current account surplus. We show that changes in global financial integration can help explain this anomaly in US current account behavior.

Suggested Citation

  • Suparna Chakraborty & Robert Dekle, 2009. "Can International Productivity Differences Alone Account for the US Current Account Deficits?," Review of International Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 17(4), pages 689-715, September.
  • Handle: RePEc:bla:reviec:v:17:y:2009:i:4:p:689-715
    DOI: 10.1111/j.1467-9396.2009.00844.x
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1467-9396.2009.00844.x
    Download Restriction: no

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Benjamin Hunt & Alessandro Rebucci, 2005. "The US Dollar and the Trade Deficit: What Accounts for the Late 1990s?," International Finance, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 8(3), pages 399-434, December.
    2. Backus, David K. & Crucini, Mario J., 2000. "Oil prices and the terms of trade," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 50(1), pages 185-213, February.
    3. Dekle, Robert & Vandenbroucke, Guillaume, 2012. "A quantitative analysis of China's structural transformation," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 36(1), pages 119-135.
    4. Baxter, Marianne & Crucini, Mario J, 1995. "Business Cycles and the Asset Structure of Foreign Trade," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 36(4), pages 821-854, November.
    5. Backus, David K & Kehoe, Patrick J & Kydland, Finn E, 1992. "International Real Business Cycles," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 100(4), pages 745-775, August.
    6. Patrick J. Kehoe & Fabrizio Perri, 2002. "International Business Cycles with Endogenous Incomplete Markets," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 70(3), pages 907-928, May.
    7. Enrique G. Mendoza, 2007. "Financial Integration, Financial Deepness and Global Imbalance," 2007 Meeting Papers 746, Society for Economic Dynamics.
    8. V. V. Chari & Patrick J. Kehoe & Ellen R. McGrattan, 2007. "Business Cycle Accounting," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 75(3), pages 781-836, May.
    9. Greenwood, Jeremy & Hercowitz, Zvi & Huffman, Gregory W, 1988. "Investment, Capacity Utilization, and the Real Business Cycle," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 78(3), pages 402-417, June.
    10. Charles Engel & John H. Rogers, 2006. "The U.S. current account deficit and the expected share of world output," Proceedings, Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco, issue Jun.
    11. Jonathan Eaton & Robert Dekle & Samuel Kortum, 2007. "Unbalanced Trade," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 97(2), pages 351-355, May.
    12. Harold L. Cole & Lee E. Ohanian, 2004. "New Deal Policies and the Persistence of the Great Depression: A General Equilibrium Analysis," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 112(4), pages 779-816, August.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Citations

    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.
    as


    Cited by:

    1. Fabrizio Coricelli & Andreas Wörgötter, 2012. "Structural Change and the Current Account: The Case of Germany," OECD Economics Department Working Papers 940, OECD Publishing.
    2. Ogawa, Eiji & Iwatsubo, Kentaro, 2009. "External adjustments and coordinated exchange rate policy in Asia," Journal of Asian Economics, Elsevier, vol. 20(3), pages 225-239, May.
    3. Sauré, Philip, 2017. "Time-intensive R&D and unbalanced trade," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 91(C), pages 229-244.
    4. Amaya Altuzarra & Jesús Ferreiro & Felipe Serrano, 2010. "The role of global imbalances as a cause of the current crisis," Journal of Innovation Economics, De Boeck Université, vol. 0(2), pages 25-48.
    5. Coricelli, Fabrizio & Ravasan, Farshad R & Wörgötter, Andreas, 2013. "The origins of the German current account surplus: Unbalanced productivity growth and structural change," CEPR Discussion Papers 9527, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.

    More about this item

    Statistics

    Access and download statistics

    Corrections

    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:bla:reviec:v:17:y:2009:i:4:p:689-715. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Wiley Content Delivery). General contact details of provider: http://www.blackwellpublishing.com/journal.asp?ref=0965-7576 .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.