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On the Source of U.S. Trade Deficits: Global Saving Glut or Domestic Saving Drought?

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  • Joseph Steinberg

    (University of Toronto)

Abstract

Are U.S. trade deficits caused by high foreign saving—a global saving glut—or low domestic saving—a domestic saving drought? To answer this question, I conduct a wedge accounting analysis of U.S. trade balance dynamics during 1995-2011 using a dynamic general equilibrium model. I find that a global saving glut explains 96 percent of U.S. trade deficits in excess of those that would have occurred naturally as a result of productivity growth and demographic change. Contrary to widespread belief, however, investment distortions, not a global saving glut, account for much of the decline in real interest rates that has accompanied U.S. trade deficits. (Copyright: Elsevier)

Suggested Citation

  • Joseph Steinberg, 2019. "On the Source of U.S. Trade Deficits: Global Saving Glut or Domestic Saving Drought?," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 31, pages 200-223, January.
  • Handle: RePEc:red:issued:16-198
    DOI: 10.1016/j.red.2018.07.002
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    Cited by:

    1. Joseph Steinberg, 2018. "The Macroeconomic Impact of NAFTA Termination," 2018 Meeting Papers 753, Society for Economic Dynamics.
    2. Sposi, Michael J., 2017. "Demographics and the Evolution of Global Imbalances," Globalization Institute Working Papers 332, Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas.
    3. Joseph Steinberg, 2017. "Brexit and the Macroeconomic Impact of Trade Policy Uncertainty," 2017 Meeting Papers 216, Society for Economic Dynamics.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Trade deficit; Global saving glut; Wedge accounting; Real exchange rate;

    JEL classification:

    • F21 - International Economics - - International Factor Movements and International Business - - - International Investment; Long-Term Capital Movements
    • 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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