The Missing Wealth of Nations: Are Europe and the U.S. net Debtors or net Creditors?
This article shows that official statistics substantially underestimate the net foreign asset positions of rich countries because they fail to capture most of the assets held by households in offshore tax havens. Drawing on a unique Swiss data set and exploiting systematic anomalies in countries' portfolio investment positions, I find that around 8% of the global financial wealth of households is held in tax havens, three-quarters of which goes unrecorded. On the basis of plausible assumptions, accounting for unrecorded assets turns the eurozone, officially the world's second largest net debtor, into a net creditor. It also reduces the U.S. net debt significantly. The results shed new light on global imbalances and challenge the widespread view that after a decade of poor-to-rich capital flows, external assets are now in poor countries and debts in rich countries. I provide concrete proposals to improve international statistics. JEL Codes: F32, H26, H87. Copyright 2013, Oxford University Press.
If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.
As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to look for a different version under "Related research" (further below) or search for a different version of it.
Volume (Year): 128 (2013)
Issue (Month): 3 ()
|Contact details of provider:|| |
References listed on IDEAS
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- Milesi-Ferretti, Gian Maria & Strobbe, Francesco & Tamirisa, Natalia, 2010.
"Bilateral Financial Linkages and Global Imbalances: A View on The Eve of the Financial Crisis,"
CEPR Discussion Papers
8173, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
- Gian M Milesi-Ferretti & Natalia T. Tamirisa & Francesco Strobbe, 2010. "Bilateral Financial Linkages and Global Imbalances; a View on The Eve of the Financial Crisis," IMF Working Papers 10/257, International Monetary Fund.
When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:oup:qjecon:v:128:y:2013:i:3:p:1321-1364. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Oxford University Press)or (Christopher F. Baum)
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.