IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/
MyIDEAS: Login to save this article or follow this journal

The U.S. current account deficit and the expected share of world output

  • Engel, Charles
  • Rogers, John H.

We investigate the possibility that the large current account deficits of the U.S. are the outcome of optimizing behavior. We develop a simple long-run world equilibrium model in which the current account is determined by the expected discounted present value of its future share of world GDP relative to its current share of world GDP. The model suggests that under some reasonable assumptions about future U.S. GDP growth relative to the rest of the advanced countries – more modest than the growth over the past 20 years – the current account deficit is near optimal levels. We then explore the implications for the real exchange rate. Under some plausible assumptions, the model implies little change in the real exchange rate over the adjustment path, though the conclusion is sensitive to assumptions about tastes and technology. Then we turn to empirical evidence. A test of current account sustainability suggests that the U.S. is not keeping on a long-run sustainable path. A direct test of our model finds that the dynamics of the U.S. current account – the increasing deficits over the past decade – are difficult to explain under a particular statistical model (Markov-switching) of expectations of future U.S. growth. But, if we use survey data on forecasted GDP growth in the G7, our very simple model appears to explain the evolution of the U.S. current account remarkably well. We conclude that expectations of robust performance of the U.S. economy relative to the rest of the advanced countries is a contender – though not the only legitimate contender – for explaining the U.S. current account deficit.

(This abstract was borrowed from another version of this item.)

If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.

File URL: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/B6VBW-4KJ7548-1/2/150d04fcc786134f2de593c486d32cab
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 under "Related research" (further below) or search for a different version of it.

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

Volume (Year): 53 (2006)
Issue (Month): 5 (July)
Pages: 1063-1093

as
in new window

Handle: RePEc:eee:moneco:v:53:y:2006:i:5:p:1063-1093
Contact details of provider: Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/inca/505566

References listed on IDEAS
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:

as in new window
  1. Gourinchas, Pierre-Olivier & Rey, Hélène, 2005. "From World Banker to World Venture Capitalist: US External Adjustment and the Exorbitant Privilege," CEPREMAP Working Papers (Docweb) 0606, CEPREMAP.
  2. Reuven Glick & Kenneth Rogoff, 1992. "Global versus country-specific productivity shocks and the current account," Working Papers in Applied Economic Theory 92-06, Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco.
  3. Caballero, Ricardo J & Farhi, Emmanuel & Gourinchas, Pierre-Olivier, 2006. "An Equilibrium Model of "Global Imbalances" and Low Interest Rates," Center for International and Development Economics Research, Working Paper Series qt7xc0g8mm, Center for International and Development Economics Research, Institute for Business and Economic Research, UC Berkeley.
  4. R. Glenn Hubbard & Eric M. Engen, 2004. "Federal Government Debt and Interest Rates," Working Papers 50018, American Enterprise Institute.
  5. Maurice Obstfeld & Kenneth Rogoff, 2001. "Perspectives on OECD Economic Integration: Implications for US Current Account Adjustment," International Trade 0012004, EconWPA.
  6. Benigno, Gianluca & Christoph Thoenissen, 2002. "Equilibrium Exchange Rates and Supply Side Performance," Royal Economic Society Annual Conference 2002 19, Royal Economic Society.
  7. Blanchard, Olivier & Giavazzi, Francesco & Sá, Filipa, 2005. "The US Current Account and the Dollar," CEPR Discussion Papers 4888, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  8. Kraay, Aart & Ventura, Jaume, 2005. "The Dot-Com Bubble, the Bush Deficits, and the US Current Account," CEPR Discussion Papers 5157, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  9. Jonathan A. Parker, 1999. "Spendthrift in America? On Two Decades of Decline in the U.S. Saving Rate," NBER Working Papers 7238, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  10. 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.
  11. Charles Engel & John H. Rogers, 2006. "The U.S. current account deficit and the expected share of world output," Working Paper Series 2006-38, Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco.
  12. Eric M. Engen & R. Glenn Hubbard, 2004. "Federal Government Debt and Interest Rates," NBER Working Papers 10681, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  13. Henning Bohn, 2005. "The Sustainability of Fiscal Policy in the United States," CESifo Working Paper Series 1446, CESifo Group Munich.
  14. Hamid Faruqee & Douglas Laxton & Dirk Muir & Paolo Pesenti, 2005. "Smooth landing or crash? model based scenarios of global current account rebalancing," Proceedings, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
  15. William G. Gale & Peter R. Orszag, 2004. "Budget Deficits, National Saving, and Interest Rates," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 35(2), pages 101-210.
  16. Maurice Obstfeld & Kenneth Rogoff, 2005. "The unsustainable U.S. current account position revisited," Proceedings, Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco, issue Feb.
  17. Maurice Obstfeld & Kenneth Rogoff, 2001. "The Six Major Puzzles in International Macroeconomics: Is There a Common Cause?," International Trade 0012003, EconWPA.
  18. Richard H. Clarida & Manuela Goretti & Mark P. Taylor, 2006. "Are There Thresholds of Current Account Adjustment in the G7?," NBER Working Papers 12193, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  19. Kenneth Rogoff & William Brainard & George Perry, . "Global Current Account Imbalances and Exchange Rate Adjustments," Working Paper 33687, Harvard University OpenScholar.
  20. 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.
  21. David Backus & Espen Henriksen & Frederic Lambert & Chris Telmer, 2005. "Current Account Fact and Fiction," 2005 Meeting Papers 115, Society for Economic Dynamics.
  22. Kenneth Rogoff, 1996. "The Purchasing Power Parity Puzzle," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 34(2), pages 647-668, June.
  23. Bohn, Henning, 2007. "Are stationarity and cointegration restrictions really necessary for the intertemporal budget constraint?," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 54(7), pages 1837-1847, October.
  24. Luca Guerrieri & Christopher Erceg, 2004. "Productivity Growth and the Trade Balance in the 1990s: the Role of Evolving Perceptions," 2004 Meeting Papers 719, Society for Economic Dynamics.
  25. Henning Bohn, 1998. "The Behavior Of U.S. Public Debt And Deficits," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 113(3), pages 949-963, August.
  26. repec:tcd:wpaper:tep16 is not listed on IDEAS
  27. Edwin M. Truman, 2005. "Postponing Global Adjustment: An Analysis of the Pending Adjustment of Global Imbalances," Working Paper Series WP05-6, Peterson Institute for International Economics.
Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:eee:moneco:v:53:y:2006:i:5:p:1063-1093. 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: (Zhang, Lei)

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 references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link 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 profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

This information is provided to you by IDEAS at the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis using RePEc data.