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Global Rebalancing with Gravity: Measuring the Burden of Adjustment


  • Robert Dekle
  • Jonathan Eaton
  • Samuel Kortum


This paper uses a 42-country model of production and trade to assess the implications of eliminating current account imbalances for relative wages, relative GDPs, real wages, and real absorption. How much relative GDPs need to change depends on flexibility of two forms: factor mobility and adjustment in sourcing of imports, with more flexibility requiring less change. At the extreme, U.S. GDP falls by 30 percent relative to the world's. Because of the pervasiveness of nontraded goods, however, most domestic prices move in parallel with relative GDP, so that changes in real GDP are small. IMF Staff Papers (2008) 55, 511–540. doi:10.1057/imfsp.2008.17; published online 24 June 2008

Suggested Citation

  • Robert Dekle & Jonathan Eaton & Samuel Kortum, 2008. "Global Rebalancing with Gravity: Measuring the Burden of Adjustment," IMF Staff Papers, Palgrave Macmillan, vol. 55(3), pages 511-540, July.
  • Handle: RePEc:pal:imfstp:v:55:y:2008:i:3:p:511-540

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Jonathan Eaton & Robert Dekle & Samuel Kortum, 2007. "Unbalanced Trade," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 97(2), pages 351-355, May.
    2. Maurice Obstfeld & Kenneth S. Rogoff, 2005. "Global Current Account Imbalances and Exchange Rate Adjustments," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 36(1), pages 67-146.
    3. Jonathan Eaton & Samuel Kortum & Francis Kramarz, 2011. "An Anatomy of International Trade: Evidence From French Firms," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 79(5), pages 1453-1498, September.
    4. Andrew B. Bernard & Jonathan Eaton & J. Bradford Jensen & Samuel Kortum, 2003. "Plants and Productivity in International Trade," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 93(4), pages 1268-1290, September.
    5. Michael E. Waugh, 2010. "International Trade and Income Differences," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 100(5), pages 2093-2124, December.
    6. Giancarlo Corsetti & Philippe Martin & Paolo Pesenti, 2008. "Varieties and the Transfer Problem: The Extensive Margin of Current Account Adjustment," RSCAS Working Papers 2008/01, European University Institute.
    7. Jonathan Eaton & Samuel Kortum, 2002. "Technology, Geography, and Trade," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 70(5), pages 1741-1779, September.
    8. Alvarez, Fernando & Lucas, Robert Jr., 2007. "General equilibrium analysis of the Eaton-Kortum model of international trade," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 54(6), pages 1726-1768, September.
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    JEL classification:

    • F10 - International Economics - - Trade - - - General
    • 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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