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The Transfer Problem Revisited: Net Foreign Assets and Real Exchange Rates

  • Philip R. Lane

    (Trinity College Dublin and CEPR)

  • Gian Maria Milesi-Ferretti

    (International Monetary Fund and CEPR)

The relationship between international payments and the real exchange rate-the transfer problem-is a classic question in international economics. We use cross-country data on real exchange rates and a newly constructed data set on countries' net external positions to shed new light on this question. We present a simple theoretical framework that leads to testable implications for the long-run comovements of real exchange rates, net foreign assets, relative GDP and terms of trade, and cross-country and time series evidence on the subject. We show that on average countries with net external liabilities have more depreciated real exchange rates, and that the main channel of transmission seems to be the relative price of nontraded goods, rather than the relative price of traded goods, across countries. © 2004 President and Fellows of Harvard College and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

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File URL: http://www.mitpressjournals.org/doi/pdf/10.1162/0034653043125185
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Article provided by MIT Press in its journal Review of Economics and Statistics.

Volume (Year): 86 (2004)
Issue (Month): 4 (November)
Pages: 841-857

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Handle: RePEc:tpr:restat:v:86:y:2004:i:4:p:841-857
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  1. Lane, Philip R., 2001. "The new open economy macroeconomics: a survey," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 54(2), pages 235-266, August.
  2. Kenneth Rogoff, 1996. "The Purchasing Power Parity Puzzle," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 34(2), pages 647-668, June.
  3. Paul Krugman, 1999. "Balance Sheets, the Transfer Problem, and Financial Crises," International Tax and Public Finance, Springer, vol. 6(4), pages 459-472, November.
  4. De Gregorio, Jose & Giovannini, Alberto & Wolf, Holger C., 1994. "International evidence on tradables and nontradables inflation," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 38(6), pages 1225-1244, June.
  5. Pedroni, Peter, 1999. " Critical Values for Cointegration Tests in Heterogeneous Panels with Multiple Regressors," Oxford Bulletin of Economics and Statistics, Department of Economics, University of Oxford, vol. 61(0), pages 653-70, Special I.
  6. Obstfeld, Maurice & Rogoff, Kenneth, 1995. "The intertemporal approach to the current account," Handbook of International Economics, in: G. M. Grossman & K. Rogoff (ed.), Handbook of International Economics, edition 1, volume 3, chapter 34, pages 1731-1799 Elsevier.
  7. Engel, C., 1996. "Accounting for U.S. Real Exchange Rate Changes," Discussion Papers in Economics at the University of Washington 96-02, Department of Economics at the University of Washington.
  8. Ronald MacDonald & Peter B. Clark, 1998. "Exchange Rates and Economic Fundamentals; A Methodological Comparison of Beers and Feers," IMF Working Papers 98/67, International Monetary Fund.
  9. Peter C.B. Phillips & Mico Loretan, 1989. "Estimating Long Run Economic Equilibria," Cowles Foundation Discussion Papers 928, Cowles Foundation for Research in Economics, Yale University.
  10. Jocelyn Horne & Paul R. Masson & Jeroen J. M. Kremers, 1993. "Net Foreign Assets and International Adjustment; The United States, Japan, and Germany," IMF Working Papers 93/33, International Monetary Fund.
  11. Mendoza, Enrique G., 1997. "Terms-of-trade uncertainty and economic growth," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 54(2), pages 323-356, December.
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  13. Chihwa Kao & Min-Hsien Chiang, 1999. "On the Estimation and Inference of a Cointegrated Regression in Panel Data," Center for Policy Research Working Papers 2, Center for Policy Research, Maxwell School, Syracuse University.
  14. Rui Albuquerque, 2004. "The Composition of International Capital Flows: Risk Sharing Through Foreign Direct Investment," International Finance 0405004, EconWPA.
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  16. Lane, Philip & Milesi-Ferretti, Gian Maria, . "External Wealth of Nations," Instructional Stata datasets for econometrics extwealth, Boston College Department of Economics.
  17. Hamid Faruqee, 1994. "Long-Run Determinants of the Real Exchange Rate; A Stock-Flow Perspective," IMF Working Papers 94/90, International Monetary Fund.
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  19. Enrique Alberola & Susana G. Cervero & Humberto Lopez & Angel Ubide, 2000. "Global Equilibrium Exchange Rates: Euro, Dollar, "Ins," "Outs," and Other Major Currencies in a Panel Cointegration Framework," Econometric Society World Congress 2000 Contributed Papers 0051, Econometric Society.
  20. Canzoneri, Matthew B. & Cumby, Robert E. & Diba, Behzad, 1999. "Relative labor productivity and the real exchange rate in the long run: evidence for a panel of OECD countries," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 47(2), pages 245-266, April.
  21. Kenneth A. Froot & Kenneth Rogoff, 1994. "Perspectives on PPP and Long-Run Real Exchange Rates," NBER Working Papers 4952, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  22. James H. Stock & Mark W. Watson, 1991. "A simple estimator of cointegrating vectors in higher order integrated systems," Working Paper Series, Macroeconomic Issues 91-3, Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago.
  23. Kao, Chihwa, 1999. "Spurious regression and residual-based tests for cointegration in panel data," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 90(1), pages 1-44, May.
  24. Bergstrand, Jeffrey H, 1991. "Structural Determinants of Real Exchange Rates and National Price Levels: Some Empirical Evidence," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 81(1), pages 325-34, March.
  25. Sebastian Edwards & Miguel A. Savastano, 1999. "Exchange Rates in Emerging Economies: What Do We Know? What Do We Need to Know?," NBER Working Papers 7228, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  26. Joseph E. Gagnon, 1996. "Net foreign assets and equilibrium exchange rates: panel evidence," International Finance Discussion Papers 574, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
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