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UK External Imbalances and the Sterling: Are they on a Sustainable Path?

  • Eleni Iliopulos


  • Marcus Miller

An updated version of Krugman's 1993 MMF framework is used to consider the implications of buoyant domestic demand for the real exchange rate and debt dynamics. The updating includes a Taylor rule for monetary policy and explicit treatment of external assets and liabilities. In response to an exogenous rise in the aggregate demand, short-run appreciation of the real exchange rate is followed by a prolonged decline as external debt accumulates and net wealth deteriorates. Whether in equilibrium the real exchange rate is stronger or weaker depends crucially on a comparison of real interest rates and the growth rate. If the domestic growth rate is higher than global real interest rates, the currency may strengthen in the long run despite the deterioration of net external assets. To see whether the strength of sterling is sustainable, the analysis is briefly calibrated to UK data over the last decade. Blanchard et al. (The US current account and the dollar. CEPR DP no 4888, 2005) suggest that international liabilities to be treated as imperfect substitutes: so we check to see how this would affect our results.

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Article provided by Springer in its journal Open Economies Review.

Volume (Year): 18 (2007)
Issue (Month): 5 (November)
Pages: 539-557

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Handle: RePEc:kap:openec:v:18:y:2007:i:5:p:539-557
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  1. Obstfeld, Maurice & Rogoff, Kenneth, 2005. "The Unsustainable US Current Account Position Revisited," CEPR Discussion Papers 5416, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  2. Campbell Leith & Simon Wren-Lewis, . "Interactions Between Monetary and Fiscal Policy under Flexible Exchange Rates," Working Papers 2002_11, Business School - Economics, University of Glasgow.
  3. Philip Lane & Gian Maria Milesi-Ferretti, 2005. "A Global Perspective on External Positions," The Institute for International Integration Studies Discussion Paper Series iiisdp079, IIIS.
  4. Buiter, Willem H. & Miller, Marcus, 1982. "Real exchange rate overshooting and the output cost of bringing down inflation," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 18(2), pages 85-123.
  5. Blanchard, Olivier & Giavazzi, Francesco & Sá, Filipa, 2005. "The US Current Account and the Dollar," CEPR Discussion Papers 4888, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  6. Barry Eichengreen & Ricardo Hausmann & Ugo Panizza, 2003. "Currency Mismatches, Debt Intolerance and Original Sin: Why They Are Not the Same and Why it Matters," NBER Working Papers 10036, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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  8. repec:tcd:wpaper:tep16 is not listed on IDEAS
  9. Gourinchas, Pierre-Olivier & Rey, Hélène, 2005. "International Financial Adjustment," CEPR Discussion Papers 4923, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  10. Leith, Campbell & Wren-Lewis, Simon, 2000. "Interactions between Monetary and Fiscal Policy Rules," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 110(462), pages C93-108, March.
  11. Christopher M. Meissner & Alan M. Taylor, 2006. "Losing our Marbles in the New Century? The Great Rebalancing in Historical Perspective," NBER Working Papers 12580, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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  13. Hausmann, Ricardo & Sturzenegger, Federico, 2006. "Global Imbalances or Bad Accounting? The Missing Dark Matter in the Wealth of Nations," Working Paper Series rwp06-003, Harvard University, John F. Kennedy School of Government.
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