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East Asia and Global Imbalances: Saving, Investment, and Financial Development

In: Financial Sector Development in the Pacific Rim, East Asia Seminar on Economics, Volume 18


  • Hiro Ito
  • Menzie Chinn


We investigate the role of budget balances, financial development and openness, in the evolution of global imbalances. Financial development -- or the lack thereof -- has received considerable attention as a possible contributing factor to the development of persistent and expanding current account imbalances. Several observers have argued that the depth and sophistication of US capital markets have caused capital to flow from relatively underdeveloped East Asian financial markets. In this paper, we extend our previous work by examining the effect of different types and aspects of financial development. Our cross-country analysis, encompassing a sample of 19 industrialized countries and 70 developing countries for the period of 1986 through 2005, yields a number of new results. First, we confirm a role for budget balances in industrial countries when bond markets are incorporated. Second, empirically both credit to the private sector and stock market capitalization appear to be equally important determinants of current account behavior. Third, while increases in the size of financial markets induce a decline in the current account balance in industrial countries, the reverse is more often the case for developing countries, especially when other measures of financial development are included. However, because of nonlinearities incorporated into the specifications, this characterization is conditional upon other factors. Fourth, a greater degree of financial openness is typically associated with a smaller current account balance in developing countries.
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Suggested Citation

  • Hiro Ito & Menzie Chinn, 2009. "East Asia and Global Imbalances: Saving, Investment, and Financial Development," NBER Chapters,in: Financial Sector Development in the Pacific Rim, East Asia Seminar on Economics, Volume 18, pages 117-150 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberch:0432

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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Moral-Benito, Enrique & Roehn, Oliver, 2016. "The impact of financial regulation on current account balances," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 81(C), pages 148-166.
    2. repec:hal:wpaper:halshs-00641456 is not listed on IDEAS
    3. Park, Donghyun & Shin, Kwanho, 2009. "Saving, Investment, and Current Account Surplus in Developing Asia," ADB Economics Working Paper Series 158, Asian Development Bank.
    4. Horioka, Charles Yuji & Terada-Hagiwara, Akiko, 2012. "The determinants and long-term projections of saving rates in Developing Asia," Japan and the World Economy, Elsevier, vol. 24(2), pages 128-137.
    5. Sabine Herrmann & Adalbert Winkler, 2009. "Financial markets and the current account: emerging Europe versus emerging Asia," Review of World Economics (Weltwirtschaftliches Archiv), Springer;Institut für Weltwirtschaft (Kiel Institute for the World Economy), vol. 145(3), pages 531-550, October.
    6. Ismail, Aisha & Rashid, Kashif, 2013. "Determinants of household saving: Cointegrated evidence from Pakistan (1975–2011)," Economic Modelling, Elsevier, vol. 32(C), pages 524-531.
    7. Dumitru, Ionut & Dumitru, Ionela, 2009. "An Assessment of the Current Account Sustainability in Romania – An Inter-temporal Perspective," Journal for Economic Forecasting, Institute for Economic Forecasting, vol. 6(2), pages 23-41, June.
    8. Debasish Kumar Das, 2016. "Determinants of current account imbalance in the global economy: a dynamic panel analysis," Journal of Economic Structures, Springer;Pan-Pacific Association of Input-Output Studies (PAPAIOS), vol. 5(1), pages 1-24, December.
    9. Jamel Saadaoui, 2015. "Does financial openness explain the increase of global imbalances before the crisis of 2008?," International Economics, CEPII research center, issue 143, pages 23-35.
    10. Herrmann, Sabine & Winkler, Adalbert, 2009. "Real convergence, financial markets, and the current account - Emerging Europe versus emerging Asia," The North American Journal of Economics and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 20(2), pages 100-123, August.
    11. Sabine Herrmann & Joern Kleinert, 2014. "Lucas Paradox and Allocation Puzzle - Is the euro area different?," Graz Economics Papers 2014-01, University of Graz, Department of Economics.
    12. Saadaoui, Jamel, 2011. "Global imbalances and capital account openness: an empirical analysis," MPRA Paper 35453, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    13. Saadaoui, Jamel, 2012. "Déséquilibres globaux, taux de change d’équilibre et modélisation stock-flux cohérente
      [Global Imbalances, Equilibrium Exchange Rates and Stock-Flow Consistent Modelling]
      ," MPRA Paper 51332, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    14. Joseph W. Gruber & Steven B. Kamin, 2008. "Do differences in financial development explain the global pattern of current account imbalances?," International Finance Discussion Papers 923, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
    15. Ramon Moreno & Marjorie Santos, 2008. "Pension systems in EMEs: implications for capital flows and financial markets," BIS Papers chapters,in: Bank for International Settlements (ed.), Financial globalisation and emerging market capital flows, volume 44, pages 45-69 Bank for International Settlements.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • 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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