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Should We Trust the Empirical Evidence from Present Value Models of the Current Account?

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  • Mercereau, Benoît
  • Miniane, Jacques Alain

Abstract

The present value model of the current account has been very popular, as it provides an optimal benchmark to which actual current account series have often been compared. We show why persistence in observed current account data makes the estimated optimal series very sensitive to small-sample estimation error, making it almost impossible to determine whether the consumption-smoothing current account tracks the actual current account closely, or not closely at all. Moreover, the standard Wald test of the model will falsely accept or reject the model with substantial probability. Monte Carlo simulations and estimations using annual and quarterly data from five OECD countries strongly support our predictions. In particular, we conclude that two important consensus results in the literature - that the optimal series is highly correlated with the actual series, but substantially less volatile - are not statistically robust.

Suggested Citation

  • Mercereau, Benoît & Miniane, Jacques Alain, 2008. "Should We Trust the Empirical Evidence from Present Value Models of the Current Account?," Economics - The Open-Access, Open-Assessment E-Journal, Kiel Institute for the World Economy (IfW), vol. 2, pages 1-36.
  • Handle: RePEc:zbw:ifweej:7401
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    File URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.5018/economics-ejournal.ja.2008-34
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    File URL: https://www.econstor.eu/bitstream/10419/27518/1/economics_2008-34.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. repec:wsi:wschap:9789813225343_0010 is not listed on IDEAS
    2. Geert Bekaert, 2001. "Expectations Hypotheses Tests," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 56(4), pages 1357-1394, August.
    3. Agenor, Pierre-Richard & Bismut, Claude & Cashin, Paul & McDermott, C. John, 1999. "Consumption smoothing and the current account: evidence for France, 1970-1996," Journal of International Money and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 18(1), pages 1-12, January.
    4. Ahmed, Shaghil, 1986. "Temporary and permanent government spending in an open economy: Some evidence for the United Kingdom," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 17(2), pages 197-224, March.
    5. Paul R. Bergin & Steven M. Sheffrin, 2017. "Interest Rates, Exchange Rates and Present Value Models of the Current Account," World Scientific Book Chapters,in: International Macroeconomic Interdependence, chapter 10, pages 287-316 World Scientific Publishing Co. Pte. Ltd..
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Elif C. Arbatli, 2008. "Futures Markets, Oil Prices and the Intertemporal Approach to the Current Account," Staff Working Papers 08-48, Bank of Canada.
    2. Oscar Bajo-Rubio & Vicente Esteve, 2017. "Optimality of the current account of the Spanish economy, 1850-2015," Working Papers 1710, Department of Applied Economics II, Universidad de Valencia.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Currrent account; present value model; model evaluation;

    JEL classification:

    • C11 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Econometric and Statistical Methods and Methodology: General - - - Bayesian Analysis: General
    • C52 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Econometric Modeling - - - Model Evaluation, Validation, and Selection
    • 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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