IDEAS home Printed from
MyIDEAS: Login to save this paper or follow this series

On Current Account Surpluses and the Correction of Global Imbalances

  • Sebastián Edwards
Registered author(s):

    In this paper I analyze the nature of external adjustments in current account surplus countries. I ask whether a realignment of world growth rates -- with Japan and Europe growing faster, and the U.S. growing more slowly -- is likely to solve the current situation of global imbalances. The main findings may be summarized as follows: (a) there is an important asymmetry between current account deficits and surpluses. (b) Large surpluses exhibit little persistence through time. (c) Large and abrupt reductions in surpluses are a rare phenomenon. (d) A decline in GDP growth, relative to long term trend, of 1 percentage point results in an improvement in the current account balance -- higher surplus or lower deficit -- of one quarter of a percentage point of GDP. Taken together, these results indicate that a realignment of global growth would only make a modest contribution towards the resolution of global imbalances. This means that, even if there is a realignment of global growth, the world is likely to need significant exchange rate movements. This analysis also suggests that a reduction in China's (very) large surplus will be needed if global imbalances are to be resolved.

    If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.

    File URL:
    Download Restriction: no

    Paper provided by Central Bank of Chile in its series Working Papers Central Bank of Chile with number 440.

    in new window

    Date of creation: Dec 2007
    Date of revision:
    Handle: RePEc:chb:bcchwp:440
    Contact details of provider: Postal: Casilla No967, Santiago
    Phone: (562) 670 2000
    Fax: (562) 698 4847
    Web page:

    More information through EDIRC

    References listed on IDEAS
    Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:

    as in new window
    1. Eichengreen, Barry, 2003. "Three generations of crises, three generations of crisis models," Journal of International Money and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 22(7), pages 1089-1094, December.
    2. Kraay, A. & Ventura, J., 1997. "Current Acounts in Debtor and Creditor Countries," Working papers 97-12, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Department of Economics.
    3. Eichengreen, Barry & Rose, Andrew K & Wyplosz, Charles, 1996. "Contagious Currency Crises," CEPR Discussion Papers 1453, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    4. Eichengreen, Barry & Rose, Andrew & Wyplosz, Charles, 1996. " Contagious Currency Crises: First Tests," Scandinavian Journal of Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 98(4), pages 463-84, December.
    5. 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.
    6. Reinhart, Carmen & Ogaki, Masao & Ostry, Jonathan, 1995. "Saving behavior in low- and middle-income developing countries," MPRA Paper 13757, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    7. Loayza, N. & Schmidt, K. & Serven, L., 1999. "What Drives Private Saving Across the World?," Papers 47, Cambridge - Risk, Information & Quantity Signals.
    8. Aizenman, Joshua, 1983. "A theory of current account and exchange rate determinations," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 23(3), pages 261-280, September.
    9. James M. Nason & John H. Rogers, 2003. "The present-value model of the current account has been rejected: Round up the usual suspects," FRB Atlanta Working Paper 2003-7, Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta.
    10. Maurice Obstfeld & Kenneth S. Rogoff, 1996. "Foundations of International Macroeconomics," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262150476, June.
    11. Robert J. Barro, 2013. "Inflation and Economic Growth," Annals of Economics and Finance, Society for AEF, vol. 14(1), pages 121-144, May.
    12. Jacques Miniane & Benoît Mercereau, 2004. "Challenging the Empirical Evidence From Present Value Models of the Current Account," IMF Working Papers 04/106, International Monetary Fund.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

    When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:chb:bcchwp:440. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Claudio Sepulveda)

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

    If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    This information is provided to you by IDEAS at the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis using RePEc data.