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Current account composition and sustainability of external debt (I)

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  • G. Rossini
  • P. Zanghieri

Abstract

If an economy runs a current account (CA) deficit and finances it via a corresponding net inflow of equity capital (belonging to foreign direct investment (FDI) or to portfolio investment) the external debt (ED) of the country does not change, i.e.: the CA deficit does not add to ED. This is no paradox and simply comes from the definition of CA deficit and external debt. Nonetheless, the implication of this is rather relevant since it points to different degrees of sustainability of CA deficits according to the way they are financed and to the composition of the CA itself. By the evaluation of the determinants of interest rates spreads of a country vis à vis US lending rates we assess the sustainability of CA deficits and we find that the extent of FDI net inflows (proxy of equity capital) allow emerging economies to sustain imbalances which are larger with respect to the case in which the CA deficit is financed by inflows of other more liquid assets. In other words the differential treatment of equity capital as a way of financing the CA, but not contributing to to the ED of a country, is no fiction and affects the solvency assessment of a country. This is a first result of a larger research on the effects of the composition of the CA on the solvency of an economy.

Suggested Citation

  • G. Rossini & P. Zanghieri, 2006. "Current account composition and sustainability of external debt (I)," Working Papers 568, Dipartimento Scienze Economiche, Universita' di Bologna.
  • Handle: RePEc:bol:bodewp:568
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Swati R. Ghosh & Atish R. Ghosh, 2003. "Structural Vulnerabilities and Currency Crises," IMF Staff Papers, Palgrave Macmillan, vol. 50(3), pages 1-7.
    2. Buiter, Willem H. & Sibert, Anne, 2005. "How the Eurosystem’s Treatment of Collateral in its Open Market Operations Weakens Fiscal Discipline in the Eurozone (and what to do about it)," CEPR Discussion Papers 5387, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
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    5. Hong G. Min, 1998. "Determinants of emerging market bond spread : do economic fundamentals matter?," Policy Research Working Paper Series 1899, The World Bank.
    6. Milesi-Ferretti, G-M & Razin, A, 1996. "Current-Account Sustainability," Princeton Studies in International Economics 81, International Economics Section, Departement of Economics Princeton University,.
    7. Lane, Philip R. & Milesi-Ferretti, Gian Maria, 2004. "Financial globalization and exchange rates," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 19926, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
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    Cited by:

    1. repec:mod:depeco:0011 is not listed on IDEAS
    2. Barbara Pistoresi & Alberto Rinaldi, 2013. "External constraint and economic growth in Italy: 1861-2000," Department of Economics (DEMB) 0011, University of Modena and Reggio Emilia, Department of Economics "Marco Biagi".
    3. Mihajlo Djukic & Drasko Nikolic, 2012. "Economic Integration and Analysis of External Debt Position of Serbia," Book Chapters, Institute of Economic Sciences.
    4. Barbara Pistoresi, 2013. "Italy's current account sustainability:a long run perspective, 1861-2000," Center for Economic Research (RECent) 092, University of Modena and Reggio E., Dept. of Economics "Marco Biagi".

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • E44 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Money and Interest Rates - - - Financial Markets and the Macroeconomy
    • F34 - International Economics - - International Finance - - - International Lending and Debt Problems

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