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Reforms, Finance, and Current Accounts

Listed author(s):
  • Bertola, Giuseppe
  • Lo Prete, Anna

We analyze the implications of labor market reforms for an open economy’s human capital investment and future production. A stylized model shows that labor market deregulation can imply more positive current account balances if financial markets are imperfect and labor market institutions not only distort labor allocation, but also smooth income. Empirically, in OECD country-level panel data, we find that labor market deregulation has been positively related to current account surpluses on average and more strongly so when and where financial market access was more limited. These results are robust to inclusion of standard determinants of current account imbalances, and do not appear to be driven by cyclical phenomena.

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Paper provided by C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers in its series CEPR Discussion Papers with number 10413.

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Date of creation: Feb 2015
Handle: RePEc:cpr:ceprdp:10413
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  1. Giuseppe Bertola & Anna Lo Prete, 2013. "Finance, governments, and trade," Review of World Economics (Weltwirtschaftliches Archiv), Springer;Institut für Weltwirtschaft (Kiel Institute for the World Economy), vol. 149(2), pages 273-294, June.
  2. Chinn, Menzie D. & Prasad, Eswar S., 2003. "Medium-term determinants of current accounts in industrial and developing countries: an empirical exploration," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 59(1), pages 47-76, January.
  3. Giuseppe Bertola, 2004. "A Pure Theory of Job Security and Labour Income Risk," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 71(1), pages 43-61.
  4. Glick, Reuven & Rogoff, Kenneth, 1995. "Global versus country-specific productivity shocks and the current account," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 35(1), pages 159-192, February.
  5. Maurice Obstfeld, 1982. "Aggregate Spending and the Terms of Trade: Is There a Laursen-Metzler Effect?," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 97(2), pages 251-270.
  6. Anna Lo Prete, 2016. "Labour Market Institutions and Household Consumption Insurance within OECD Countries," The World Economy, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 39(6), pages 755-771, 06.
  7. Calderon Cesar Augusto & Chong Alberto & Loayza Norman V., 2002. "Determinants of Current Account Deficits in Developing Countries," The B.E. Journal of Macroeconomics, De Gruyter, vol. 2(1), pages 1-33, March.
  8. Carroll, Christopher D. & Jeanne, Olivier, 2009. "A tractable model of precautionary reserves, net foreign assets, or sovereign wealth funds," CFS Working Paper Series 2009/15, Center for Financial Studies (CFS).
  9. Paolo Epifani & Gino Gancia, 2009. "Openness, Government Size and the Terms of Trade," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 76(2), pages 629-668.
  10. 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.
  11. Gertler, Mark & Rogoff, Kenneth, 1990. "North-South lending and endogenous domestic capital market inefficiencies," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 26(2), pages 245-266, October.
  12. Lo Prete, Anna, 2013. "Sharing risk within and across countries: the role of labor market institutions," Economic Systems, Elsevier, vol. 37(3), pages 449-461.
  13. Andersen, Torben M, 2010. "Incentive and Insurance Effects of Tax Financed Unemployment Insurance," CEPR Discussion Papers 8025, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
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  15. Duval, Romain, 2008. "Is there a role for macroeconomic policy in fostering structural reforms? Panel evidence from OECD countries over the past two decades," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 24(2), pages 491-502, June.
  16. Zheng Song & Kjetil Storesletten & Fabrizio Zilibotti, 2011. "Growing Like China," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 101(1), pages 196-233, February.
  17. Damiano Sandri, 2014. "Growth and Capital Flows with Risky Entrepreneurship," American Economic Journal: Macroeconomics, American Economic Association, vol. 6(3), pages 102-123, July.
  18. Jonas Agell, 2002. "On the Determinants of Labour Market Institutions: Rent Seeking vs. Social Insurance," German Economic Review, Verein für Socialpolitik, vol. 3(2), pages 107-135, 05.
  19. Laura Alfaro & Sebnem Kalemli-Ozcan & Vadym Volosovych, 2008. "Why Doesn't Capital Flow from Rich to Poor Countries? An Empirical Investigation," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 90(2), pages 347-368, May.
  20. Varian, Hal R., 1980. "Redistributive taxation as social insurance," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 14(1), pages 49-68, August.
  21. S M Ali Abbas & Jacques Bouhga-Hagbe & Antonio Fatás & Paolo Mauro & Ricardo C Velloso, 2011. "Fiscal Policy and the Current Account," IMF Economic Review, Palgrave Macmillan;International Monetary Fund, vol. 59(4), pages 603-629, November.
  22. Enrique G. Mendoza & Vincenzo Quadrini & José-Víctor Ríos-Rull, 2009. "Financial Integration, Financial Development, and Global Imbalances," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 117(3), pages 371-416, 06.
  23. Hamid Faruqee & Guy Debelle, 1996. "What Determines the Current Account? a Cross-Sectional and Panel Approach," IMF Working Papers 96/58, International Monetary Fund.
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