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

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  • Eleni Iliopulos

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  • Marcus Miller

Abstract

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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Suggested Citation

  • Eleni Iliopulos & Marcus Miller, 2007. "UK External Imbalances and the Sterling: Are they on a Sustainable Path?," Open Economies Review, Springer, vol. 18(5), pages 539-557, November.
  • Handle: RePEc:kap:openec:v:18:y:2007:i:5:p:539-557 DOI: 10.1007/s11079-007-9029-5
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Maurice Obstfeld & Kenneth Rogoff & Richard Clarida, "undated". "The Unsustainable U S Current Account Position Revisited," Working Paper 14901, Harvard University OpenScholar.
    2. 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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    9. 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.
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    Cited by:

    1. repec:hal:journl:halshs-00429600 is not listed on IDEAS
    2. Eleni Iliopulos, 2008. "Collateral constraints, external imbalances and heterogeneous agents in a two-country world," Documents de recherche 08-12, Centre d'Études des Politiques Économiques (EPEE), Université d'Evry Val d'Essonne.
    3. Christian Grisse & Thomas Nitschka, 2016. "Exchange Rate Returns and External Adjustment: Evidence from Switzerland," Open Economies Review, Springer, pages 317-339.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    International macroeconomics; Debt dynamics; Open economy; Real exchange rate dynamics; F31; F32; F41;

    JEL classification:

    • 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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