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An asset-pricing view of external adjustment

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  • Pavlova, Anna
  • Rigobon, Roberto

Abstract

Recent literature has argued that conventional measures of external sustainability - the trade balance and current account - are misleading because they omit capital gains on net foreign asset positions. We adjust the definition of the current account to include the capital gains and discuss how this may affect our thinking about external adjustment and sustainability. We do so in the context of a two-country macro-finance model of Pavlova and Rigobon (2008a) that allows exploration of the interconnections between equilibrium portfolios and external accounts' dynamics. We calibrate the model and find that it generates several testable implications, some of which have already been validated empirically. First, we establish dynamic properties of the capital-gains adjusted current account and show that they are fundamentally different from those of the conventional current account. Second, we find that capital gains have a stabilizing effect on the trade balance and the current account. Finally, we demonstrate that in response to a shock, the conventional and the capital-gains adjusted current accounts may move in opposite directions.

Suggested Citation

  • Pavlova, Anna & Rigobon, Roberto, 2010. "An asset-pricing view of external adjustment," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 80(1), pages 144-156, January.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:inecon:v:80:y:2010:i:1:p:144-156
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Current account Portfolio choice Incomplete markets International finance Asset pricing Valuation effects;

    JEL classification:

    • F31 - International Economics - - International Finance - - - Foreign Exchange
    • F36 - International Economics - - International Finance - - - Financial Aspects of Economic Integration
    • G12 - Financial Economics - - General Financial Markets - - - Asset Pricing; Trading Volume; Bond Interest Rates
    • G15 - Financial Economics - - General Financial Markets - - - International Financial Markets

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