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Global current account adjustment: a decomposition

Author

Listed:
  • Devereux, Michael
  • Lahiri, Amartya
  • Pang, Ke

    () (Wilfrid Laurier University, Waterloo, Ontario)

Abstract

The rising current account deficit in the USA has attracted considerable attention in recent years. We use the “business cycle accounting” methodology to identify the principal distortions that have affected the external accounts of the US. In particular, we measure distortions in the optimality conditions of a simple two-country general equilibrium model using data from the US and the other G7 countries. We then feed these measured distortions into the model individually and use the simulated counterfactual paths of the current account to determine the contribution of each of these “wedges” to the overall external imbalance of the USA. We find that no single wedge in isolation can account closely for the observed current account. However, a combination of productivity differences and deviations from risk-sharing between the US and the rest of the G7 does the best job in accounting for most of the measured movement of the US current account.

Suggested Citation

  • Devereux, Michael & Lahiri, Amartya & Pang, Ke, 2006. "Global current account adjustment: a decomposition," Proceedings, Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco, issue Jun, pages 1-25.
  • Handle: RePEc:fip:fedfpr:y:2006:i:jun:x:7
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Edward C. Prescott, 2004. "Why do Americans work so much more than Europeans?," Quarterly Review, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis, issue Jul, pages 2-13.
    2. Ricardo J. Caballero & Emmanuel Farhi & Pierre-Olivier Gourinchas, 2008. "An Equilibrium Model of "Global Imbalances" and Low Interest Rates," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 98(1), pages 358-393, March.
    3. Amartya Lahiri & Kei-Mu Yi, 2005. "A Tale of Two States," 2005 Meeting Papers 132, Society for Economic Dynamics.
    4. Harold L. Cole & Lee E. Ohanian, 2004. "New Deal Policies and the Persistence of the Great Depression: A General Equilibrium Analysis," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 112(4), pages 779-816, August.
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    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • F1 - International Economics - - Trade
    • F2 - International Economics - - International Factor Movements and International Business

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