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What explains the US net income balance?


  • Alexandra Heath


Despite a significant deterioration in the US net foreign asset position, there has not been a corresponding deterioration in the net income balance. In fact, there has generally been a net income surplus. Two factors have been particularly important for the positive net income balance over the past 15 years or so. The first is that the United States has a positive net external equity balance and a negative net external debt balance. This contributes to a net income surplus because the income yield on equity has been higher than the income yield on debt.

Suggested Citation

  • Alexandra Heath, 2007. "What explains the US net income balance?," BIS Working Papers 223, Bank for International Settlements.
  • Handle: RePEc:bis:biswps:223

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Swenson, Deborah L., 2001. "Tax Reforms and Evidence of Transfer Pricing," National Tax Journal, National Tax Association, vol. 54(1), pages 7-26, March.
    2. Matthew Higgins & Thomas Klitgaard & Cedric Tille, 2005. "The income implications of rising U.S. international liabilities," Current Issues in Economics and Finance, Federal Reserve Bank of New York, vol. 11(Dec).
    3. Hines, James R. Jr., 1999. "Lessons From Behavioral Responses to International Taxation," National Tax Journal, National Tax Association, vol. 52(2), pages 305-322, June.
    4. 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.
    5. Fritz Foley, C. & Hartzell, Jay C. & Titman, Sheridan & Twite, Garry, 2007. "Why do firms hold so much cash? A tax-based explanation," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 86(3), pages 579-607, December.
    6. Swenson, Deborah L., 2001. "Tax Reforms and Evidence of Transfer Pricing," National Tax Journal, National Tax Association, vol. 54(n. 1), pages 7-26, March.
    7. Ralph H. Kozlow, 2006. "Statistical Issues Related to Global Economic Imbalances: Perspectives on "Dark Matter"," BEA Papers 0068, Bureau of Economic Analysis.
    8. Michael P. Devereux & Rachel Griffith & Alexander Klemm, 2002. "Corporate income tax reforms and international tax competition," Economic Policy, CEPR;CES;MSH, vol. 17(35), pages 449-495, October.
    9. Robert E. Lipsey, 2009. "Measuring International Trade in Services," NBER Chapters,in: International Trade in Services and Intangibles in the Era of Globalization, pages 27-70 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    10. Olivier Blanchard & Francesco Giavazzi & Filipa Sa, 2005. "The U.S. Current Account and the Dollar," NBER Working Papers 11137, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    11. Goodspeed, T-J & White, A-D, 1996. "International taxation," Papers 96-11, Wellesley College - Department of Economics.
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    Cited by:

    1. Lane, Philip R. & Milesi-Ferretti, Gian Maria, 2009. "Where did all the borrowing go? A forensic analysis of the U.S. external position," Journal of the Japanese and International Economies, Elsevier, vol. 23(2), pages 177-199, June.
    2. Nicolas Stoffels & Cédric Tille, 2007. "Why are Switzerland's foreign assets so low? The growing financial exposure of a small open economy," Staff Reports 283, Federal Reserve Bank of New York.
    3. McCauley, Robert N., 2015. "Does the US dollar confer an exorbitant privilege?," Journal of International Money and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 57(C), pages 1-14.
    4. Hickey, Ronan, 2007. "How Sustainable are Global Imbalances?," Quarterly Bulletin Articles, Central Bank of Ireland, pages 85-119, October.
    5. repec:bis:bisifb:45 is not listed on IDEAS
    6. Michael D. Bordo & Robert N. McCauley, 2016. "The Current Account Version of the Triffin Dilemma," Atlantic Economic Journal, Springer;International Atlantic Economic Society, vol. 44(2), pages 171-182, June.

    More about this item


    Net income balance; dark matter; income yields; foreign direct investment;

    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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