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Structural and Cyclical Factors behind Current Account Balances

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  • Calista Cheung
  • Davide Furceri
  • Elena Rusticelli

Abstract

Global external imbalances widened persistently over the last several years and have narrowed abruptly over the course of the financial crisis. Understanding the extent to which structural or cyclical factors may have driven these patterns is important to assess the likely evolution of global imbalances going forward, as well as the potential adjustment that can be achieved through changes in policy. This paper assesses the link between structural and cyclical factors and current-account balances using a panel of 94 countries from 1973 to 2008. We find that the medium-term evolution of global external imbalances can be related in large part to structural factors including cross-country differences in demographics, fiscal deficits, oil dependency and intensity, stage of economic development, financial market development, and institutional quality. Part of the narrowing in current-account balances since the financial crisis appears to be related to various cyclical factors including changes in output growth, oil prices, and exchange rates, and may be expected to reverse alongside the economic recovery. Les facteurs structurels et cycliques derrière l'évolution des comptes courantsGlobal external imbalances widened persistently over the last several years and have narrowed abruptly over the course of the financial crisis. Understanding the extent to whic Des déséquilibres externes mondiaux se sont élargis constamment au cours des dernières années et puis se sont réduits abruptement au cours de la crise financière. Comprendre dans quelle mesure des facteurs structurels ou cycliques ont conduit ces évolutions est important pour évaluer l'évolution probable des déséquilibres mondiaux à l’avenir, ainsi que l'ajustement potentiel qui peut être réalisé par des changements de la politique. Cette étude évalue les facteurs structurels et cycliques qui influencent des balances courantes en utilisant un panneau de 94 pays de 1973 à 2008. Nous constatons que l'évolution à moyen te
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Suggested Citation

  • Calista Cheung & Davide Furceri & Elena Rusticelli, 2013. "Structural and Cyclical Factors behind Current Account Balances," Review of International Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 21(5), pages 923-944, November.
  • Handle: RePEc:bla:reviec:v:21:y:2013:i:5:p:923-944
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    JEL classification:

    • F32 - International Economics - - International Finance - - - Current Account Adjustment; Short-term Capital Movements
    • F41 - International Economics - - Macroeconomic Aspects of International Trade and Finance - - - Open Economy Macroeconomics
    • L - Industrial Organization

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