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Fiscal Policy and the Current Account in a Small Open Economy


  • Juha Tervala

    () (University of Helsinki, Department of Economics, Finland)


This paper analyses the macroeconomic effects of fiscal policy in a small open economy in a flexible exchange rate regime. The key result is that the effects of fiscal policy depend on the size of the elasticity of substitution between traded and nontraded goods. In particular, the sign of the current account response to fiscal policy depends on the interplay between the intertemporal elasticity of aggregate consumption and the elasticity of substitution between traded and nontraded goods. The paper also shows that only permanent fiscal expansions generate current account imbalances while temporary fiscal expansions do not affect the current account.

Suggested Citation

  • Juha Tervala, 2007. "Fiscal Policy and the Current Account in a Small Open Economy," Finnish Economic Papers, Finnish Economic Association, vol. 20(2), pages 108-120, Autumn.
  • Handle: RePEc:fep:journl:v:20:y:2007:i:2:p:108-120

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. 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.
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    5. Lane, P.R. & Ganelli, G., 2002. "Dynamic General Equilibrium Analysis: The Open Economy Dimension," CEG Working Papers 20026, Trinity College Dublin, Department of Economics.
    6. Jonathan D. Ostry & Carmen M. Reinhart, 1992. "Private Saving and Terms of Trade Shocks: Evidence from Developing Countries," IMF Staff Papers, Palgrave Macmillan, vol. 39(3), pages 495-517, September.
    7. Mankiw, N Gregory & Summers, Lawrence H, 1986. "Money Demand and the Effects of Fiscal Policies," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 18(4), pages 415-429, November.
    8. Dornbusch, Rudiger, 1983. "Real Interest Rates, Home Goods, and Optimal External Borrowing," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 91(1), pages 141-153, February.
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    10. Selma Mahfouz & Richard Hemming & Michael Kell, 2002. "The Effectiveness of Fiscal Policy in Stimulating Economic Activity; A Review of the Literature," IMF Working Papers 02/208, International Monetary Fund.
    11. Hall, Robert E., 1980. "Labor supply and aggregate fluctuations," Carnegie-Rochester Conference Series on Public Policy, Elsevier, vol. 12(1), pages 7-33, January.
    12. Baxter, Marianne & King, Robert G, 1993. "Fiscal Policy in General Equilibrium," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 83(3), pages 315-334, June.
    13. Reinhart, Carmen & Ostry, Jonathan, 1991. "Private Saving and Terms of Trade Shocks," MPRA Paper 13716, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    14. Cedric Tille, 1999. "The role of consumption substitutability in the international transmission of shocks," Staff Reports 67, Federal Reserve Bank of New York.
    15. Kim, Soyoung & Roubini, Nouriel, 2008. "Twin deficit or twin divergence? Fiscal policy, current account, and real exchange rate in the U.S," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 74(2), pages 362-383, March.
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    17. Mendoza, Enrique G, 1991. "Real Business Cycles in a Small Open Economy," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 81(4), pages 797-818, September.
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    Cited by:

    1. Shugo Yamamoto, 2013. "Structural Change in the External Balances Response to Macroeconomic Policies: Perspective from a Two-Sector New Open Economy Macroeconomic Model," Review of International Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 21(5), pages 1021-1031, November.
    2. Darius, Reginald, 2010. "The macroeconomic effects of monetary and fiscal policy in a small open economy: Does the exchange rate regime matter?," Journal of International Money and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 29(8), pages 1508-1528, December.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • E62 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Macroeconomic Policy, Macroeconomic Aspects of Public Finance, and General Outlook - - - Fiscal Policy
    • F31 - International Economics - - International Finance - - - Foreign Exchange
    • F32 - International Economics - - International Finance - - - Current Account Adjustment; Short-term Capital Movements
    • F41 - International Economics - - Macroeconomic Aspects of International Trade and Finance - - - Open Economy Macroeconomics


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