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Global Dispersion of Current Accounts: Is the Universe Expanding?


  • Hamid Faruqee
  • Jaewoo Lee


This paper examines the global distribution of current accounts. Using a panel of more than 100 countries, the analysis establishes a set of stylized facts regarding the collective behavior of current accounts over the past four decades. In particular, we find that the global dispersion of current accounts has been steadily rising, which is qualitatively consistent with the view that ongoing financial globalization has allowed countries to maintain larger current account imbalances. However, this underlying trend is not quantitatively large enough to explain “global imbalances”—that is, the noticeable widening in external imbalances among major economies (for example, United States) seen in recent years. IMF Staff Papers (2009) 56, 574–595. doi:10.1057/imfsp.2009.12

Suggested Citation

  • Hamid Faruqee & Jaewoo Lee, 2009. "Global Dispersion of Current Accounts: Is the Universe Expanding?," IMF Staff Papers, Palgrave Macmillan, vol. 56(3), pages 574-595, August.
  • Handle: RePEc:pal:imfstp:v:56:y:2009:i:3:p:574-595

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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Kenc, Turalay & Dibooglu, Sel, 2010. "The 2007-2009 financial crisis, global imbalances and capital flows: Implications for reform," Economic Systems, Elsevier, vol. 34(1), pages 3-21, March.
    2. Kim, Soyoung & Lee, Jaewoo, 2015. "Imbalances over the Pacific," Journal of Macroeconomics, Elsevier, vol. 45(C), pages 173-185.
    3. Marga PEETERS, 2011. "The Changing Pattern in International Trade and Capital Flows of the Gulf Cooperation Council Countries in Comparison with other Oil-Exporting Countries," Journal of Knowledge Management, Economics and Information Technology,, vol. 1(7), pages 1-29, December.
    4. Ricardo Reyes-Heroles, 2017. "The Role of Trade Costs in the Surge of Trade Imbalances," 2017 Meeting Papers 212, Society for Economic Dynamics.
    5. Atish R. Ghosh & Mahvash S Qureshi & Charalambos G Tsangarides, 2014. "Friedman Redux; External Adjustment and Exchange Rate Flexibility," IMF Working Papers 14/146, International Monetary Fund.
    6. Christopher Andrew Hartwell, 2014. "Capital Controls and the Determinants of Entrepreneurship," Czech Journal of Economics and Finance (Finance a uver), Charles University Prague, Faculty of Social Sciences, vol. 64(6), pages 434-456, December.
    7. Jörg Decressin & Emil Stavrev, 2009. "Current Accounts in a Currency Union," IMF Working Papers 09/127, International Monetary Fund.
    8. Soyoung Kim & Jaewoo Lee, 2008. "International Macroeconomic Fluctuations: A New Open Economy Macroeconomics Interpretation," Working Papers 232008, Hong Kong Institute for Monetary Research.
    9. Yongsung Chang & Sun-Bin Kim & Jaewoo Lee, 2013. "Accounting for Global Dispersion of Current Accounts," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 16(3), pages 477-496, July.
    10. van Treeck, Till. & Sturn, Simon., 2012. "Income inequality as a cause of the Great Recession? : A survey of current debates," ILO Working Papers 994709343402676, International Labour Organization.
    11. Irineu E de Carvalho Filho & Rudolfs Bems, 2009. "Exchange Rate Assessments; Methodologies for Oil Exporting Countries," IMF Working Papers 09/281, International Monetary Fund.

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