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An equilibrum model of "global imbalances" and low interest rates

Author

Listed:
  • Ricardo J Caballero
  • Emmanuel Farhi
  • Pierre-Olivier Gourinchas

Abstract

Three of the most important recent facts in global macroeconomics - the sustained rise in the US current account deficit, the stubborn decline in long run real rates, and the rise in the share of US assets in global portfolio - appear as anomalies from the perspective of conventional wisdom and models. Instead, in this paper we provide a model that rationalizes these facts as an equilibrium outcome of two observed forces: a) potential growth differentials among different regions of the world and, b) heterogeneity in these regions' capacity to generate financial assets from real investments. In extensions of the basic model, we also generate exchange rate and FDI excess returns which are broadly consistent with the recent trends in these variables. More generally, the framework is flexible enough to shed light on a range of scenarios in a global equilibrium environment.

Suggested Citation

  • Ricardo J Caballero & Emmanuel Farhi & Pierre-Olivier Gourinchas, 2006. "An equilibrum model of "global imbalances" and low interest rates," BIS Working Papers 222, Bank for International Settlements.
  • Handle: RePEc:bis:biswps:222
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Ricardo J. Caballero & Emmanuel Farhi & Mohamad L. Hammour, 2006. "Speculative Growth: Hints from the U.S. Economy," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 96(4), pages 1159-1192, September.
    2. Richard H. Clarida, 2007. "G7 Current Account Imbalances: Sustainability and Adjustment," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number clar06-2, July.
    3. Menzie Chinn & Jeffrey A. Frankel, 2007. "Will the Euro Eventually Surpass the Dollar as Leading International Reserve Currency?," NBER Chapters,in: G7 Current Account Imbalances: Sustainability and Adjustment, pages 283-338 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    4. Maurice Obstfeld & Kenneth S. Rogoff, 2005. "Global Current Account Imbalances and Exchange Rate Adjustments," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 36(1), pages 67-146.
    5. Ricardo J. Caballero & Emmanuel Farhi & Pierre-Olivier Gourinchas, 2008. "An Equilibrium Model of "Global Imbalances" and Low Interest Rates," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 98(1), pages 358-393, March.
    6. repec:fip:fedgsq:y:2005:i:mar10 is not listed on IDEAS
    7. Michael P. Dooley & David Folkerts-Landau & Peter M. Garber, 2005. "An essay on the revived Bretton Woods system," Proceedings, Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco, issue Feb.
    8. Christian Broda & David E. Weinstein, 2006. "Globalization and the Gains From Variety," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 121(2), pages 541-585.
    9. Philip R. Lane & Gian Maria Milesi-Ferretti, 2007. "A Global Perspective on External Positions," NBER Chapters,in: G7 Current Account Imbalances: Sustainability and Adjustment, pages 67-102 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    10. Enrique G. Mendoza, 2007. "Financial Integration, Financial Deepness and Global Imbalance," 2007 Meeting Papers 746, Society for Economic Dynamics.
    11. Caballero, Ricardo J. & Krishnamurthy, Arvind, 2006. "Bubbles and capital flow volatility: Causes and risk management," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 53(1), pages 35-53, January.
    12. Blanchard, Olivier & Giavazzi, Francesco & Sá, Filipa, 2005. "The US Current Account and the Dollar," CEPR Discussion Papers 4888, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    13. Shang-Jin Wei & Jiandong Ju, 2006. "A Solution to Two Paradoxes of International Capital Flows," IMF Working Papers 06/178, International Monetary Fund.
    14. Kim, Soyoung & Roubini, Nouriel, 2008. "Twin deficit or twin divergence? Fiscal policy, current account, and real exchange rate in the U.S," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 74(2), pages 362-383, March.
    15. Pierre-Olivier Gourinchas & Hélène Rey, 2007. "From World Banker to World Venture Capitalist: U.S. External Adjustment and the Exorbitant Privilege," NBER Chapters,in: G7 Current Account Imbalances: Sustainability and Adjustment, pages 11-66 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    16. Cavallo, Eduardo A. & Frankel, Jeffrey A., 2008. "Does openness to trade make countries more vulnerable to sudden stops, or less? Using gravity to establish causality," Journal of International Money and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 27(8), pages 1430-1452, December.
    17. Chinn, Menzie D. & Ito, Hiro, 2007. "Current account balances, financial development and institutions: Assaying the world "saving glut"," Journal of International Money and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 26(4), pages 546-569, June.
    18. Sebastian Edwards, 2005. "Is the U.S. Current Account Deficit Sustainable? And If Not, How Costly is Adjustment Likely To Be?," NBER Working Papers 11541, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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    20. Martin Feldstein, 2005. "Monetary Policy in a Changing International Environment: The Role of Global Capital Flows," NBER Working Papers 11856, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    21. Richard N. Cooper, 2005. "Living with Global Imbalances: A Contrarian View," Policy Briefs PB05-03, Peterson Institute for International Economics.
    22. Ben S. Bernanke, 2005. "The global saving glut and the U.S. current account deficit," Speech 77, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
    23. William R. Cline, 2005. "United States as a Debtor Nation, The," Peterson Institute Press: All Books, Peterson Institute for International Economics, number 3993.
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    exchange rates; capital flows; Current account deficits; interest rates; global portfolios and equilibrium; growth and financial development asymmetries; FDI; intermediation rents;

    JEL classification:

    • E0 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - General
    • F3 - International Economics - - International Finance
    • F4 - International Economics - - Macroeconomic Aspects of International Trade and Finance
    • G1 - Financial Economics - - General Financial Markets

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