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External Adjustment and the Global Crisis

In: Global Financial Crisis

  • Philip R. Lane
  • Gian Maria Milesi-Ferretti

After widening substantially in the period preceding the global financial crisis, current account imbalances across the world have contracted to a significant extent. This paper analyzes the factors underlying this process of external adjustment. It finds that countries whose pre-crisis current account balances were in excess of what could be explained by economic fundamentals have experienced the largest contractions in their external balance. External adjustment in deficit countries was achieved primarily through demand compression, rather than expenditure switching. Changes in other investment flows were the main channel of financial account adjustment, with official external assistance and ECB liquidity cushioning the exit of private capital flows for some countries.

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This chapter was published in:
  • Charles Engel & Kristin Forbes & Jeffrey Frankel, 2012. "Global Financial Crisis," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number enge11-2, December.
  • This item is provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Chapters with number 13169.
    Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberch:13169
    Contact details of provider: Postal: National Bureau of Economic Research, 1050 Massachusetts Avenue Cambridge, MA 02138, U.S.A.
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    1. Gian Maria Milesi-Ferrett & Assaf Razin, 1998. "Current Account Reversals and Currency Crises: Empirical Regularities," NBER Working Papers 6620, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    2. Obstfeld, Maurice & Rogoff, Kenneth S, 2005. "The Unsustainable US Current Account Position Revisited," Center for International and Development Economics Research, Working Paper Series qt4f63x50j, Center for International and Development Economics Research, Institute for Business and Economic Research, UC Berkeley.
    3. Philip R. Lane & Gian-Maria Milesi-Ferretti, 2007. "Europe and Global Imbalances," IMF Working Papers 07/144, International Monetary Fund.
    4. Lane, Philip R. & Milesi-Ferretti, Gian Maria, 2001. "Long-Term Capital Movements," CEPR Discussion Papers 2873, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
      • Philip R. Lane & Gian Maria Milesi-Ferretti, 2002. "Long-Term Capital Movements," NBER Chapters, in: NBER Macroeconomics Annual 2001, Volume 16, pages 73-136 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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