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On returns differentials

Listed author(s):
  • Curcuru, Stephanie E.
  • Thomas, Charles P.
  • Warnock, Francis E.

Estimates of U.S. returns differentials have ranged from exorbitant to quite small, in part because of their volatility coupled with the relatively short time series available. We shed light on underlying drivers of returns differentials by presenting a number of decompositions: a by-asset-class decomposition into yields and capital gains, the Gourinchas and Rey (2007a) composition and return effects, and further decompositions of capital gains that focus on exchange rate effects. While each decomposition informs thinking about returns differentials, one constant is evident throughout: to date the existing differential favoring the U.S. has owed primarily to one factor, a differential in direct investment yields. We discuss how our analysis informs the income puzzle (of positive net income flows to the U.S. even as its net international investment position is negative and substantial) and the position puzzle (of a sizeable gap between the reported U.S. net international position and cumulated current account deficits), provide an initial assessment of the literature on the dynamics of returns differentials, and present a framework to guide a forward-looking view of how returns differentials might evolve in the future.

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File URL: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0261560613000272
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Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Journal of International Money and Finance.

Volume (Year): 36 (2013)
Issue (Month): C ()
Pages: 1-25

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Handle: RePEc:eee:jimfin:v:36:y:2013:i:c:p:1-25
DOI: 10.1016/j.jimonfin.2013.02.002
Contact details of provider: Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/inca/30443

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  1. Maurice Obstfeld, 2012. "Does the Current Account Still Matter?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 102(3), pages 1-23, May.
  2. Mendoza, Enrique G. & Quadrini, Vincenzo, 2010. "Financial globalization, financial crises and contagion," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 57(1), pages 24-39, January.
  3. Stephanie E. Curcuru & Tomas Dvorak & Francis E. Warnock, 2008. "Cross-Border Returns Differentials," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 123(4), pages 1495-1530.
  4. José L. Fillat & Stefania Garetto, 2015. "Risk, Returns, and Multinational Production," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 130(4), pages 2027-2073.
  5. Ellen R. McGrattan & Edward C. Prescott, 2010. "Technology Capital and the US Current Account," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 100(4), pages 1493-1522, September.
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  7. Christopher M. Meissner & Alan M. Taylor, 2006. "Losing our marbles in the new century?: the great rebalancing in historical perspective," Conference Series ; [Proceedings], Federal Reserve Bank of Boston, vol. 51.
  8. Andrew B. Bernard & J. Bradford Jensen & Peter K. Schott, 2006. "Transfer Pricing by U.S.-Based Multinational Firms," NBER Working Papers 12493, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  9. Desai, Mihir A. & Foley, C. Fritz & Hines, James Jr., 2006. "The demand for tax haven operations," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 90(3), pages 513-531, February.
  10. Stephanie E. Curcuru & Charles P. Thomas & Francis E. Warnock, 2009. "Current Account Sustainability and Relative Reliability," NBER Chapters,in: NBER International Seminar on Macroeconomics 2008, pages 67-109 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  11. Forbes, Kristin J., 2010. "Why do foreigners invest in the United States?," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 80(1), pages 3-21, January.
  12. Ricardo Hausmann & Federico Sturzenegger, 2006. "Global Imbalances or Bad Accounting? The Missing Dark Matter in the Wealth of Nations," CID Working Papers 124, Center for International Development at Harvard University.
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  14. Maurice Obstfeld & Kenneth S. Rogoff, 2005. "Global Current Account Imbalances and Exchange Rate Adjustments," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 36(1), pages 67-146.
  15. Elhanan Helpman & Marc J. Melitz & Stephen R. Yeaple, 2004. "Export Versus FDI with Heterogeneous Firms," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 94(1), pages 300-316, March.
  16. Curcuru, Stephanie E. & Dvorak, Tomas & Warnock, Francis E., 2010. "Decomposing the U.S. external returns differential," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 80(1), pages 22-32, January.
  17. Pierre-Olivier Gourinchas & Hélène Rey, 2007. "From World Banker to World Venture Capitalist: U.S. External Adjustment and the Exorbitant Privilege," NBER Chapters,in: G7 Current Account Imbalances: Sustainability and Adjustment, pages 11-66 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  18. Habib, Maurizio Michael, 2010. "Excess returns on net foreign assets: the exorbitant privilege from a global perspective," Working Paper Series 1158, European Central Bank.
  19. Harry Grubert & Timothy Goodspeed & Deborah L. Swenson, 1993. "Explaining the Low Taxable Income of Foreign-Controlled Companies in the United States," NBER Chapters,in: Studies in International Taxation, pages 237-276 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  20. Philip R. Lane & Gian Maria Milesi-Ferretti, 2007. "A Global Perspective on External Positions," NBER Chapters,in: G7 Current Account Imbalances: Sustainability and Adjustment, pages 67-102 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  21. Devereux, Michael B. & Sutherland, Alan, 2010. "Valuation effects and the dynamics of net external assets," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 80(1), pages 129-143, January.
  22. Lane, Philip R. & Milesi-Ferretti, Gian Maria, 2009. "Where did all the borrowing go? A forensic analysis of the U.S. external position," Journal of the Japanese and International Economies, Elsevier, vol. 23(2), pages 177-199, June.
  23. Nguyen, Ha, 2011. "Valuation effects with transitory and trend productivity shocks," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 85(2), pages 245-255.
  24. Barry Bosworth & Susan Collins & Gabriel Chodorow-Reich, "undated". "Returns on FDI. Does the U.S. Really Do Better?," Working Paper 90801, Harvard University OpenScholar.
  25. Enrique G. Mendoza & Vincenzo Quadrini & José-Víctor Ríos-Rull, 2009. "Financial Integration, Financial Development, and Global Imbalances," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 117(3), pages 371-416, June.
  26. Meese, Richard A. & Rogoff, Kenneth, 1983. "Empirical exchange rate models of the seventies : Do they fit out of sample?," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 14(1-2), pages 3-24, February.
  27. Pierre-Olivier Gourinchas & Helene Rey & Nicolas Govillot, 2010. "Exorbitant Privilege and Exorbitant Duty," IMES Discussion Paper Series 10-E-20, Institute for Monetary and Economic Studies, Bank of Japan.
  28. Martin Feldstein, 1994. "Taxes, Leverage and the National Return on Outbound Foreign Direct Investment," NBER Working Papers 4689, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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