Current Account Deficits: The Australian Debate
This paper documents the clear change of view, which has taken place in Australia over the past three decades or so, concerning the relevance of the current account deficit for policy. Historical experience under a fixed exchange rate regime suggested that large persistent deficits were unsustainable and could leave the economy vulnerable to sudden reversals in sentiment. These concerns persisted after the floating of the Australian dollar and financial deregulation, and it was thought that all arms of policy should help to rein in the then much larger current account deficits. However, these policies were shown to be ineffective and, by the early 1990s, the argument that current account deficits represent the optimal outcomes of decisions made by ‘consenting adults’ gained wide support. This paper presents some empirical evidence consistent with optimal smoothing in the face of temporary shocks; the persistence of the deficit is attributed to a modest degree of impatience relative to the rest of the world. Although it is now widely accepted that policy should not seek to influence the current account balance, the issue of external vulnerability remains of interest. Here, country-specific considerations are important, and it is argued that the factors that have made Australia relatively resilient to external shocks are also those that helped to attract foreign capital in the first place.
|Date of creation:||Dec 2007|
|Contact details of provider:|| Postal: Casilla No967, Santiago|
Phone: (562) 670 2000
Fax: (562) 698 4847
Web page: http://www.bcentral.cl/
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.:
- Nikola Dvornak & Marion Kohler & Gordon Menzies, 2005.
"Australia's Medium-Run Exchange Rate: A Macroeconomic Balance Approach,"
The Economic Record,
The Economic Society of Australia, vol. 81(253), pages 101-112, 06.
- Nikola Dvornak & Marion Kohler & Gordon Menzies, 2003. "Australia’s Medium-run Exchange Rate: A Macroeconomic Balance Approach," RBA Research Discussion Papers rdp2003-03, Reserve Bank of Australia.
- Cashin, Paul & McDermott, C John, 1998. "Are Australia's Current Account Deficits Excessive?," The Economic Record, The Economic Society of Australia, vol. 74(227), pages 346-361, December.
- C. John McDermott & Paul Cashin, 1996. "Are Australia's Current Account Deficits Excessive?," IMF Working Papers 96/85, International Monetary Fund.
- Cashin, P., 1996. "Are Australia's Current Account deficits Excessive?," Department of Economics - Working Papers Series 533, The University of Melbourne.
- Makin, A.J., 1988. "Targeting Australia’s Current Account: A New Mercantilism?," Economic Analysis and Policy, Elsevier, vol. 18(2), pages 199-212.
- J. D. Pitchford, 1989. "A Sceptical View of Australia's Current Account and Debt Problem," Australian Economic Review, The University of Melbourne, Melbourne Institute of Applied Economic and Social Research, vol. 22(2), pages 5-14.
- Sebastian Edwards, 2004. "Thirty Years of Current Account Imbalances, Current Account Reversals, and Sudden Stops," IMF Staff Papers, Palgrave Macmillan, vol. 51(s1), pages 1-49, June.
- Deaton, Angus, 1992. "Understanding Consumption," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780198288244.
- David Gruen & Glenn Stevens, 2000. "Australian Macroeconomic Performances and Policies in the 1990s," RBA Annual Conference Volume,in: David Gruen & Sona Shrestha (ed.), The Australian Economy in the 1990s Reserve Bank of Australia.
- Jocelyn Horne, 2001. "The Current Account Debate in Australia: Changing Policy Perspectives," Research Papers 0111, Macquarie University, Department of Economics. Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)
When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:chb:bcchwp:450. 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.