IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/a/eee/jimfin/v26y2007i4p500-522.html
   My bibliography  Save this article

Explaining the global pattern of current account imbalances

Author

Listed:
  • Gruber, Joseph W.
  • Kamin, Steven B.

Abstract

This paper assesses some of the explanations that have been put forward for the global pattern of current account imbalances that has emerged in recent years: in particular, the large U.S. current account deficit and the large surpluses of the Asian developing economies. Based on the approach developed by Chinn and Prasad (2003), we use data for 61 countries during 1982-2003 to estimate panel regression models for the ratio of the current account balance to GDP. We find that a model that includes as its explanatory variables the standard determinants of current accounts proposed in the literature-?per capita income, relative growth rates, the fiscal balance, demographic variables, and economic openness-?can account for neither the large U.S. deficit nor large Asian surpluses of the 1997-2003 period. However, when we include a variable representing financial crises, which might be expected to restrain domestic demand and boost the current account balance, the model explains much of developing Asia?s swing into surplus since 1997. Even so, the model cannot explain why the capital outflows associated with Asia?s current account surpluses were channeled primarily into the U.S. economy. Observers have pointed to strong growth performance and a favorable institutional environment as elements attracting foreign investment into the United States, and we found strong evidence that good performance in these areas significantly reduces the current account balance. While a model incorporating these factors still fails to predict the large U.S. current account deficit (and, in fact, predicts a slight surplus), it does predict a U.S. current account balance that is relatively weaker than the aggregate balance of developing Asia.
(This abstract was borrowed from another version of this item.)

Suggested Citation

  • Gruber, Joseph W. & Kamin, Steven B., 2007. "Explaining the global pattern of current account imbalances," Journal of International Money and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 26(4), pages 500-522, June.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:jimfin:v:26:y:2007:i:4:p:500-522
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0261-5606(07)00024-1
    Download Restriction: Full text for ScienceDirect subscribers only
    ---><---

    As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to look for a different version below or search for a different version of it.

    Other versions of this item:

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Glick, Reuven & Rogoff, Kenneth, 1995. "Global versus country-specific productivity shocks and the current account," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 35(1), pages 159-192, February.
    2. Chinn, Menzie D. & Prasad, Eswar S., 2003. "Medium-term determinants of current accounts in industrial and developing countries: an empirical exploration," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 59(1), pages 47-76, January.
    3. Graciela Kaminsky & Saul Lizondo & Carmen M. Reinhart, 1998. "Leading Indicators of Currency Crises," IMF Staff Papers, Palgrave Macmillan, vol. 45(1), pages 1-48, March.
    4. Frankel, Jeffrey A. & Rose, Andrew K., 1996. "Currency crashes in emerging markets: An empirical treatment," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 41(3-4), pages 351-366, November.
    5. Jiandong Ju & Shang-Jin Wei, 2014. "A Solution to Two Paradoxes of International Capital Flows," Economic and Political Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 2(1), pages 3-43, January.
    6. Reuven Glick & Michael M. Hutchison, 1999. "Banking and currency crises; how common are twins?," Proceedings, Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco, issue Sep.
    7. Sebastian Edwards, 2005. "Is the U.S. Current Account Deficit Sustainable? And If Not, How Costly is Adjustment Likely To Be?," NBER Working Papers 11541, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    8. Lane, Philip R. & Milesi-Ferretti, Gian Maria, 2001. "The external wealth of nations: measures of foreign assets and liabilities for industrial and developing countries," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 55(2), pages 263-294, December.
    9. Christopher J. Erceg & Luca Guerrieri & Christopher Gust, 2005. "Expansionary Fiscal Shocks and the US Trade Deficit," International Finance, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 8(3), pages 363-397, December.
    10. Carmen M. Reinhart & Graciela L. Kaminsky, 1999. "The Twin Crises: The Causes of Banking and Balance-of-Payments Problems," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 89(3), pages 473-500, June.
    11. Chinn, Menzie D. & Ito, Hiro, 2007. "Current account balances, financial development and institutions: Assaying the world "saving glut"," Journal of International Money and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 26(4), pages 546-569, June.
    12. Michael P. Dooley & David Folkerts-Landau & Peter M. Garber, 2005. "An essay on the revived Bretton Woods system," Proceedings, Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco, issue Feb.
    13. Gruber, Joseph W., 2004. "A present value test of habits and the current account," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 51(7), pages 1495-1507, October.
    14. Michael P. Dooley & David Folkerts-Landau & Peter Garber, 2007. "Direct Investment, Rising Real Wages and the Absorption of Excess Labor in the Periphery," NBER Chapters, in: G7 Current Account Imbalances: Sustainability and Adjustment, pages 103-132, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    15. Christopher J. Erceg & Luca Guerrieri & Christopher Gust, 2006. "SIGMA: A New Open Economy Model for Policy Analysis," International Journal of Central Banking, International Journal of Central Banking, vol. 2(1), March.
    16. Carmen M. Reinhart & Graciela L. Kaminsky, 1999. "The Twin Crises: The Causes of Banking and Balance-of-Payments Problems," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 89(3), pages 473-500, June.
    17. Gruber, Joseph W. & Kamin, Steven B., 2007. "Explaining the global pattern of current account imbalances," Journal of International Money and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 26(4), pages 500-522, June.
    18. Ahearne, Alan G. & Griever, William L. & Warnock, Francis E., 2004. "Information costs and home bias: an analysis of US holdings of foreign equities," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 62(2), pages 313-336, March.
    19. Graciela L. Kaminsky, 2003. "Varieties of Currency Crises," NBER Working Papers 10193, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    20. Bussière, Matthieu & Fratzscher, Marcel & Müller, Gernot J., 2010. "Productivity shocks, budget deficits and the current account," Journal of International Money and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 29(8), pages 1562-1579, December.
    21. Steven B. Kamin, 2005. "The revived Bretton Woods system: does it explain developments in non-China developing Asia?," Proceedings, Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco, issue Feb.
    22. Fratzscher, Marcel & Müller, Gernot J. & Bussière, Matthieu, 2004. "Current accounts dynamics in OECD and EU acceding countries - an intertemporal approach," Working Paper Series 311, European Central Bank.
    23. Menzie D. Chinn, 2004. "Incomes, Exchange Rates and the US Trade Deficit, Once Again," International Finance, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 7(3), pages 451-469, December.
    24. Lane, Philip & Milesi-Ferretti, Gian Maria, "undated". "External Wealth of Nations," Instructional Stata datasets for econometrics extwealth, Boston College Department of Economics.
    25. Catherine L. Mann, 1999. "Is the U.S. Trade Deficit Sustainable?," Peterson Institute Press: All Books, Peterson Institute for International Economics, number 47, October.
    26. Olivier Blanchard & Francesco Giavazzi & Filipa Sa, 2005. "The U.S. Current Account and the Dollar," NBER Working Papers 11137, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    27. Olivier Blanchard & Francesco Giavazzi, 2002. "Current Account Deficits in the Euro Area: The End of the Feldstein Horioka Puzzle?," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 33(2), pages 147-210.
    28. William R. Cline, 2005. "United States as a Debtor Nation, The," Peterson Institute Press: All Books, Peterson Institute for International Economics, number 3993, October.
    29. Sebastian Edwards, 2005. "Is the U.S. Current Account Deficit Sustainable? If Not, How Costly Is Adjustment Likely to Be?," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 36(1), pages 211-288.
    30. Edwin M. Truman, 2005. "Budget and external deficits: not twins but the same family," Proceedings, Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco, issue Feb.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Most related items

    These are the items that most often cite the same works as this one and are cited by the same works as this one.
    1. Joseph Gruber & Steven Kamin, 2009. "Do Differences in Financial Development Explain the Global Pattern of Current Account Imbalances?," Review of International Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 17(4), pages 667-688, September.
    2. Herrmann, Sabine & Winkler, Adalbert, 2009. "Real convergence, financial markets, and the current account - Emerging Europe versus emerging Asia," The North American Journal of Economics and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 20(2), pages 100-123, August.
    3. Chinn, Menzie D. & Ito, Hiro, 2022. "A Requiem for “Blame It on Beijing” interpreting rotating global current account surpluses," Journal of International Money and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 121(C).
    4. Choi, Horag & Mark, Nelson C. & Sul, Donggyu, 2008. "Endogenous discounting, the world saving glut and the U.S. current account," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 75(1), pages 30-53, May.
    5. Lars Calmfors & Giancarlo Corsetti & Seppo Honkapohja & John Kay & Gilles Saint-Paul & Hans-Werner Sinn & Jan-Egbert Sturm & Xavier Vives, 2006. "Chapter 2: Global Imbalances," EEAG Report on the European Economy, CESifo, vol. 0, pages 50-67, March.
    6. Chinn, Menzie D. & Ito, Hiro, 2007. "Current account balances, financial development and institutions: Assaying the world "saving glut"," Journal of International Money and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 26(4), pages 546-569, June.
    7. José García-Solanes & Jesús Rodríguez-López & José Torres, 2011. "Demand Shocks and Trade Balance Dynamics," Open Economies Review, Springer, vol. 22(4), pages 739-766, September.
    8. Das, Debasish Kumar, 2012. "Determinants of current account imbalances in the global economy: A dynamic panel analysis," MPRA Paper 42419, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    9. Leonor Coutinho & Alessandro Turrini & Stefan Zeugner, 2018. "Methodologies for the Assessment of Current Account Benchmarks," European Economy - Discussion Papers 2015 - 086, Directorate General Economic and Financial Affairs (DG ECFIN), European Commission.
    10. Duncan, Roberto, 2015. "A threshold model of the US current account," Economic Modelling, Elsevier, vol. 48(C), pages 270-280.
    11. Sabine Herrmann & Adalbert Winkler, 2009. "Financial markets and the current account: emerging Europe versus emerging Asia," Review of World Economics (Weltwirtschaftliches Archiv), Springer;Institut für Weltwirtschaft (Kiel Institute for the World Economy), vol. 145(3), pages 531-550, October.
    12. Laura Alfaro & Sebnem Kalemli-Ozcan & Vadym Volosovych, 2007. "Capital Flows in a Globalized World: The Role of Policies and Institutions," NBER Chapters, in: Capital Controls and Capital Flows in Emerging Economies: Policies, Practices, and Consequences, pages 19-72, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    13. Agustin S. Benetrix & Beren Demirolmez & Martin Schmitz, 2021. "The shock absorbing role of cross-border investments: net positions versus currency composition," Trinity Economics Papers tep0421, Trinity College Dublin, Department of Economics.
    14. Martin Schmitz, 2011. "Financial reforms and capital flows to emerging Europe," Empirica, Springer;Austrian Institute for Economic Research;Austrian Economic Association, vol. 38(4), pages 579-605, November.
    15. Menzie D. Chinn & Barry Eichengreen & Hiro Ito, 2014. "A forensic analysis of global imbalances," Oxford Economic Papers, Oxford University Press, vol. 66(2), pages 465-490.
    16. Blaise Gnimassoun & Valérie Mignon, 2015. "Persistence of Current-account Disequilibria and Real Exchange-rate Misalignments," Review of International Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 23(1), pages 137-159, February.
    17. Moral-Benito, Enrique & Roehn, Oliver, 2016. "The impact of financial regulation on current account balances," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 81(C), pages 148-166.
    18. Blaise Gnimassoun & Valérie Mignon, 2013. "Current-Account Adjustments and Exchange-Rate Misalignments," Working Papers 2013-29, CEPII research center.
    19. Florian Morvillier, 2018. "On the impact of the launch of the euro on EMU macroeconomic vulnerability," EconomiX Working Papers 2018-51, University of Paris Nanterre, EconomiX.
    20. Fratzscher, Marcel & Juvenal, Luciana & Sarno, Lucio, 2010. "Asset prices, exchange rates and the current account," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 54(5), pages 643-658, July.

    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:eee:jimfin:v:26:y:2007:i:4:p:500-522. 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: . General contact details of provider: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/inca/30443 .

    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 bibliographic 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.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: Catherine Liu (email available below). General contact details of provider: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/inca/30443 .

    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.