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Macroeconomic uncertainty, precautionary saving, and the current account

  • Ghosh, Atish R.
  • Ostry, Jonathan D.

The relationship between current account developments and changes in the macroeconomic environment remains a key issue in open economy macroeconomics. This paper extends the standard intertemporal optimizing model of the current account to incorporate the effects of macroeconomic uncertainty on private savings behavior. It is shown that the greater the uncertainty in national cash flow, defined as output less investment less government expenditure, the greater is the precautionary demand for savings and, other things equal, the larger is the current account surplus. Empirical support for the model is found using quarterly data from four large industrial countries.

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Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Journal of Monetary Economics.

Volume (Year): 40 (1997)
Issue (Month): 1 (September)
Pages: 121-139

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Handle: RePEc:eee:moneco:v:40:y:1997:i:1:p:121-139
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  1. Miles Kimball & Philippe Weil, 2009. "Precautionary saving and consumption smoothing across time and possibilities," ULB Institutional Repository 2013/13432, ULB -- Universite Libre de Bruxelles.
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  15. Frenkel, Jacob A & Razin, Assaf, 1987. "Fiscal Policies and the World Economy; An Intertemporal Approach (Cambridge, Mass.: MIT Press, 1987)," MPRA Paper 20438, University Library of Munich, Germany.
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  18. Stephen P. Zeldes, 1989. "Optimal Consumption with Stochastic Income: Deviations from Certainty Equivalence," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 104(2), pages 275-298.
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