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The U.S. current account deficit: Gradual correction or abrupt adjustment?

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  • Edwards, Sebastian

Abstract

In this paper I use a large multi-country data set to analyze the determinants of abrupt and large %u201Ccurrent account reversals.%u201D The results from a variance-component probit model indicate that the probability of experiencing a major current account reversal is positively affected by larger current account deficits, lower prices of exports relative to imports, and expansive monetary policies. On the other hand, this probability is lower for more advanced countries, and for countries with flexible exchange rates. An analysis of the marginal effects of current account deficits and of the predicted probability of reversal indicates that both have increased significantly for the U.S. since 1999. However, the level of this probability is still on the low side. I estimate that the predicted probability of a current account reversal in the U.S. has increased from 1.7% in 1999, to 14.9% in 2006.
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  • Edwards, Sebastian, 2006. "The U.S. current account deficit: Gradual correction or abrupt adjustment?," Journal of Policy Modeling, Elsevier, vol. 28(6), pages 629-643, September.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:jpolmo:v:28:y:2006:i:6:p:629-643
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    1. David Backus & Espen Henriksen & Frederic Lambert & Chris Telmer, 2005. "Current Account Fact and Fiction," 2005 Meeting Papers 115, Society for Economic Dynamics.
    2. Maurice Obstfeld & Kenneth Rogoff, 2007. "The Unsustainable U.S. Current Account Position Revisited," NBER Chapters,in: G7 Current Account Imbalances: Sustainability and Adjustment, pages 339-376 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    3. 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.
    4. Sebastian Edwards, 2002. "Does the Current Account Matter?," NBER Chapters,in: Preventing Currency Crises in Emerging Markets, pages 21-76 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    5. 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.
    6. Guillermo A. Calvo & Alejandro Izquierdo & Luis-Fernando Mejía, 2004. "On the empirics of Sudden Stops: the relevance of balance-sheet effects," Proceedings, Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco, issue Jun.
    7. Gian Maria Milesi Ferretti & Assaf Razin, 2000. "Current Account Reversals and Currency Crises: Empirical Regularities," NBER Chapters,in: Currency Crises, pages 285-323 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. Corden, W. Max, 1994. "Economic Policy, Exchange Rates, and the International System," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780198774099.
    10. Sebastian Edwards, 2004. "Thirty Years of Current Account Imbalances, Current Account Reversals and Sudden Stops," NBER Working Papers 10276, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    11. Cavallo, Eduardo A. & Frankel, Jeffrey A., 2008. "Does openness to trade make countries more vulnerable to sudden stops, or less? Using gravity to establish causality," Journal of International Money and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 27(8), pages 1430-1452, December.
    12. 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.
    13. Michael P. Dooley & Jeffrey A. Frankel, 2003. "Managing Currency Crises in Emerging Markets," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number dool03-1.
    14. Hilary Croke & Steven B. Kamin & Sylvain Leduc, 2005. "Financial market developments and economic activity during current account adjustments in industrial economies," International Finance Discussion Papers 827, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
    15. Sebastian Edwards & Jeffrey A. Frankel, 2002. "Preventing Currency Crises in Emerging Markets," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number edwa02-2.
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    Cited by:

    1. Bineau, Yannick, 2008. "Équilibre extérieur et taux de change réel : apport du modèle de croissance contrainte par la balance des paiements," L'Actualité Economique, Société Canadienne de Science Economique, vol. 84(3), pages 263-285, septembre.
    2. Arslan, Yavuz & Kılınç, Mustafa & Turhan, M. İbrahim, 2015. "Global imbalances, current account rebalancing and exchange rate adjustments," Journal of Policy Modeling, Elsevier, vol. 37(2), pages 324-341.
    3. Kim, Bong-Han & Min, Hong-Ghi & Hwang, Young-Soon & McDonald, Judith A., 2009. "Are Asian countries' current accounts sustainable? Deficits, even when associated with high investment, are not costless," Journal of Policy Modeling, Elsevier, vol. 31(2), pages 163-179.
    4. Theofilakou, Nancy & Stournaras, Yannis, 2012. "Current account adjustments in OECD countries revisited: The role of the fiscal stance," Journal of Policy Modeling, Elsevier, vol. 34(5), pages 719-734.
    5. Óscar Penagos Gómez & Héctor Rojas Serrano & Jacobo Campo Robledo, 2013. "La paradoja Feldstein – Horioka: Evidencia para Colombia (1925 – 2011)," DOCUMENTOS DE TRABAJO UCATOLICA 012393, UNIVERSIDAD CATOLICA DE COLOMBIA.
    6. Karunaratne, Neil Dias, 2010. "The sustainability of Australia's current account deficits--A reappraisal after the global financial crisis," Journal of Policy Modeling, Elsevier, vol. 32(1), pages 81-97, January.
    7. Óscar Penagos Gómez & Héctor Rojas Serrano & Jacobo Campo Robledo, 2015. "La Paradoja de Feldstein-Horioka – Evidencia para Colombia durante 1925-2011," REVISTA ECOS DE ECONOMÍA, UNIVERSIDAD EAFIT, vol. 19(40), pages 4-24, June.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • F02 - International Economics - - General - - - International Economic Order and Integration
    • F43 - International Economics - - Macroeconomic Aspects of International Trade and Finance - - - Economic Growth of Open Economies
    • O11 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Macroeconomic Analyses of Economic Development

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