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Structural change, savings and current account balance

  • Sun, Yi
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    Private savings have experienced remarkable divergences across countries in recent years. In this paper we use a new factor, economic structural changes, to explain the differences of private savings in developing countries and its impacts on current account balance. We point out that growth related structural changes can be decomposed into productivity changes and job reallocations, which will affect private savings differently through wage effect and labor reallocation effect. Wage variation resulting from productivity growth will increase private savings, while labor reallocation moving from low income to high income sectors will reduce savings. Using sector level data, we find strong empirical evidence that structural change patterns have a significant impact on private savings and current account balance. This result provides another way to understand the recent "savings glut" in East Asian countries and also has some implications for the large current account imbalance issue.

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    Article provided by Elsevier in its journal International Review of Economics & Finance.

    Volume (Year): 20 (2011)
    Issue (Month): 1 (January)
    Pages: 82-94

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    Handle: RePEc:eee:reveco:v:20:y:2011:i:1:p:82-94
    Contact details of provider: Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/inca/620165

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    1. Paul R. Masson & Tamim Bayoumi & Hossein Samiei, 1995. "International Evidenceon the Determinants of Private Saving," IMF Working Papers 95/51, International Monetary Fund.
    2. 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.
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    4. Edwards, Sebastian, 1996. "Why are Latin America's savings rates so low? An international comparative analysis," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 51(1), pages 5-44, October.
    5. 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.
    6. Norman Loayza & Klaus Schmidt-Hebbel & Luis Servén, 2000. "What Drives Private Saving Across the World?," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 82(2), pages 165-181, May.
    7. Caballero, R.J., 1988. "Consumption Puzzles And Precautionary Savings," Discussion Papers 1988_05, Columbia University, Department of Economics.
    8. Stephen Nickell, 1997. "Unemployment and Labor Market Rigidities: Europe versus North America," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 11(3), pages 55-74, Summer.
    9. Jeannine Bailliu & Helmut Reisen, 1998. "Do funded pensions contribute to higher aggregate savings? A cross-country analysis," Review of World Economics (Weltwirtschaftliches Archiv), Springer, vol. 134(4), pages 692-711, December.
    10. Steven J. Davis & R. Jason Faberman & John Haltiwanger, 2006. "The Flow Approach to Labor Markets: New Data Sources and Micro-Macro Links," NBER Working Papers 12167, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    11. Bewley, Truman F., 1980. "The permanent income hypothesis and long-run economic stability," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 22(3), pages 377-394, June.
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