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External Adjustment and the Global Crisis

In: Global Financial Crisis

  • Philip R. Lane
  • Gian Maria Milesi-Ferretti

The period preceding the global financial crisis was characterized by a substantial widening of current account imbalances across the world. Since the onset of the crisis, these imbalances have contracted to a significant extent. In this paper, we analyze the ongoing process of external adjustment in advanced economies and emerging markets. We find that countries whose precrisiscurrent account balances were in excess of what could be explained by standard economic fundamentals have experienced the largest contractions in their external balance. We subsequently examine the contributions of real exchange rates, domestic demand and domestic output to the adjustment process (allowing for differences across exchange rate regimes) and find that external adjustment in deficit countries was achieved primarily through demand compression, rather than expenditure switching. Finally, we show that other investment flows was the main adjustment category in the financial account but that ECB liquidity and official external assistance have cushioned 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, August.
  • 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.
    Phone: 617-868-3900
    Web page: http://www.nber.org
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    1. repec:ucp:bknber:9780226454627 is not listed on IDEAS
    2. Gian-Maria Milesi-Ferretti & Philip R. Lane, 2010. "The Cross-Country Incidence of the Global Crisis," IMF Working Papers 10/171, International Monetary Fund.
    3. Richard H. Clarida, 2007. "G7 Current Account Imbalances: Sustainability and Adjustment," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number clar06-2, August.
    4. Philip Lane & Gian Maria Milesi-Ferretti, 2001. "Long-Term Capital Movements," CEG Working Papers 20018, Trinity College Dublin, Department of Economics.
      • 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.
    5. Caroline Freund & Frank Warnock, 2005. "Current Account Deficits in Industrial Countries: The Bigger They are, the Harder They Fall?," NBER Working Papers 11823, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    6. Jaewoo Lee & Jonathan David Ostry & Alessandro Prati & Luca Antonio Ricci & Gian-Maria Milesi-Ferretti, 2008. "Exchange Rate Assessments; CGER Methodologies," IMF Occasional Papers 261, International Monetary Fund.
    7. Gian-Maria Milesi-Ferretti, Cédric Tille, 2010. "The Great Retrenchment: International Capital Flows During the Global Financial Crisis," IHEID Working Papers 18-2010, Economics Section, The Graduate Institute of International Studies, revised 15 Sep 2010.
    8. Gian-Maria Milesi-Ferretti & Assaf Razin, 1998. "Current Account Reversals and Currency Crisis; Empirical Regularities," IMF Working Papers 98/89, International Monetary Fund.
    9. Menzie D. Chinn & Hiro Ito, 2005. "Current Account Balances, Financial Development and Institutions: Assaying the World "Savings Glut"," NBER Working Papers 11761, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    10. Maurice Obstfeld & Kenneth Rogoff, 2004. "The Unsustainable US Current Account Position Revisited," NBER Working Papers 10869, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    11. Ruo Chen & Gian-Maria Milesi-Ferretti & Thierry Tressel, 2012. "External Imbalances in the Euro Area," IMF Working Papers 12/236, International Monetary Fund.
    12. Menzie D. Chinn & Shang-Jin Wei, 2009. "A Faith-based Initiative: Does a Flexible Exchange Rate Regime Really Facilitate Current Account Adjustment?," Working Papers 122009, Hong Kong Institute for Monetary Research.
    13. Menzie David Chinn & Eswar Prasad, 2000. "Medium-Term Determinants of Current Accounts in Industrial and Developing Countries; An Empirical Exploration," IMF Working Papers 00/46, International Monetary Fund.
    14. Engel, Charles & Rogers, John H., 2006. "The U.S. current account deficit and the expected share of world output," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 53(5), pages 1063-1093, July.
    15. International Monetary Fund, 2010. "Fiscal Policy and the Current Account," IMF Working Papers 10/121, International Monetary Fund.
    16. Gianluca Benigno & Christoph Thoenissen, 2003. "Equilibrium Exchange Rates and Supply-Side Performance," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 113(486), pages C103-C124, March.
    17. David K. Backus & Patrick J. Kehoe & Finn E. Kydland, 1992. "Dynamics of the trade balance and the terms of trade: the S-curve," Working Paper 9211, Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland.
    18. Morten Ravn & Stephanie Schmitt-Grohé & Mart�n Uribe, 2006. "Deep Habits," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 73(1), pages 195-218.
    19. Joshua Aizenman & Yothin Jinjarak, 2008. "Current Account Patterns and National Real Estate Markets," NBER Working Papers 13921, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    20. Agustín S. Bénétrix & Philip R. Lane, 2010. "International Differences in Fiscal Policy During the Global Crisis," NBER Working Papers 16346, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    21. Kristin J. Forbes & Francis E. Warnock, 2011. "Capital Flow Waves: Surges, Stops, Flight, and Retrenchment," NBER Working Papers 17351, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    22. Muge Adalet & Barry Eichengreen, 2007. "Current Account Reversals: Always a Problem?," NBER Chapters, in: G7 Current Account Imbalances: Sustainability and Adjustment, pages 205-246 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    23. Olivier J. Blanchard & Mitali Das & Hamid Faruqee, 2010. "The Initial Impact of the Crisis on Emerging Market Countries," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 41(1 (Spring), pages 263-323.
    24. Philip R. Lane & Gian Maria Milesi-Ferretti, 2007. "Europe and Global Imbalances," The Institute for International Integration Studies Discussion Paper Series iiisdp226, IIIS.
    25. Enrique G. Mendoza, 2010. "Sudden Stops, Financial Crises, and Leverage," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 100(5), pages 1941-66, December.
    26. Gruber, Joseph W. & Kamin, Steven B., 2007. "Explaining the global pattern of current account imbalances," Journal of International Money and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 26(4), pages 500-522, June.
    27. Gian-Maria Milesi-Ferretti & Olivier J. Blanchard, 2009. "Global Imbalances; In Midstream?," IMF Staff Position Notes 2009/29, International Monetary Fund.
    28. Atish R. Ghosh & Jonathan David Ostry & Charalambos G. Tsangarides, 2011. "Exchange Rate Regimes and the Stability of the International Monetary System," IMF Occasional Papers 270, International Monetary Fund.
    29. Joseph E. Gagnon, 2011. "Current Account Imbalances Coming Back," Working Paper Series WP11-1, Peterson Institute for International Economics.
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