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The Transfer Problem Revisited: Net Foreign Assets and Real Exchange Rates

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  • Lane, Philip R.
  • Milesi-Ferretti, Gian Maria

Abstract

The relationship between international payments and the real exchange rate - the ‘transfer problem’ - is one of the classic questions in international economics. In this paper we use cross-country data on real exchange rates and a newly constructed data set on countries’ net external positions to shed new light on this old question. We present a simple theoretical framework that leads to empirically testable implications on the long-run co-movements of real exchange rates, net foreign assets, relative GDP and terms of trade, and cross-country and time-series evidence on the subject. We show that on average countries with net external liabilities have more depreciated real exchange rates, and that the main channel of transmission seems to work through the relative price of nontraded goods, rather than through the relative price of traded goods across countries.

Suggested Citation

  • Lane, Philip R. & Milesi-Ferretti, Gian Maria, 2000. "The Transfer Problem Revisited: Net Foreign Assets and Real Exchange Rates," CEPR Discussion Papers 2511, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  • Handle: RePEc:cpr:ceprdp:2511
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Net Foreign Assets; Real Exchange Rates; Terms of Trade;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • F21 - International Economics - - International Factor Movements and International Business - - - International Investment; Long-Term Capital Movements
    • F31 - International Economics - - International Finance - - - Foreign Exchange
    • F41 - International Economics - - Macroeconomic Aspects of International Trade and Finance - - - Open Economy Macroeconomics

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