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An Equilibrium Model of 'Global Imbalances' and Low Interest Rates

  • Caballero, Ricardo
  • Farhi, Emmanuel
  • Gourinchas, Pierre-Olivier

Three of the most important recent facts in global macroeconomics - the sustained rise in the US current account deficit, the stubborn decline in long run real rates, and the rise in the share of US assets in global portfolio - appear as anomalies from the perspective of conventional wisdom and models. Instead, in this paper we provide a model that rationalizes these facts as an equilibrium outcome of two observed forces: a) potential growth differentials among different regions of the world and, b) hetero- geneity in these regions’ capacity to generate financial assets from real investments. In extensions of the basic model, we also generate exchange rate and FDI excess returns which are broadly consistent with the recent trends in these variables. Unlike the conventional wisdom, in the absence of a large change in (a) or (b), our model does not augur any catastrophic event. More generally, the framework is flexible enough to shed light on a range of scenarios in a global equilibrium environment.

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Paper provided by C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers in its series CEPR Discussion Papers with number 5573.

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Date of creation: Mar 2006
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:cpr:ceprdp:5573
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  1. Caballero, Ricardo & Farhi, Emmanuel & Gourinchas, Pierre-Olivier, 2006. "An Equilibrium Model of 'Global Imbalances' and Low Interest Rates," CEPR Discussion Papers 5573, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  2. Richard H. Clarida, 2006. "G7 Current Account Imbalances: Sustainability and Adjustment," NBER Working Papers 12194, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. Philip Lane & Gian Maria Milesi-Ferretti, 2005. "A Global Perspective on External Positions," The Institute for International Integration Studies Discussion Paper Series iiisdp079, IIIS.
  4. Michael Dooley & David Folkerts-Landau & Peter Garber, 2005. "An essay on the revived Bretton Woods system," Proceedings, Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco, issue Feb.
  5. Mendoza, Enrique G & Quadrini, Vincenzo & Ríos-Rull, José-Víctor, 2007. "Financial Integration, Financial Deepness and Global Imbalances," CEPR Discussion Papers 6149, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  6. Martin Feldstein, 2005. "Monetary Policy in a Changing International Environment: The Role of Global Capital Flows," NBER Working Papers 11856, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  7. Ju, Jiandong & Wei, Shang-Jin, 2006. "A Solution to Two Paradoxes of International Capital Flows," CEPR Discussion Papers 5981, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  8. Kenneth Rogoff & William Brainard & George Perry, . "Global Current Account Imbalances and Exchange Rate Adjustments," Working Paper 33687, Harvard University OpenScholar.
  9. Ricardo J. Caballero & Emmanuel Farhi & Mohamad L. Hammour, 2006. "Speculative Growth: Hints from the U.S. Economy," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 96(4), pages 1159-1192, September.
  10. Kim, Soyoung & Roubini, Nouriel, 2008. "Twin deficit or twin divergence? Fiscal policy, current account, and real exchange rate in the U.S," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 74(2), pages 362-383, March.
  11. Pierre-Olivier Gourinchas & Hélène Rey, 2007. "From World Banker to World Venture Capitalist: U.S. External Adjustment and the Exorbitant Privilege," NBER Chapters, in: G7 Current Account Imbalances: Sustainability and Adjustment, pages 11-66 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  12. Christian Broda & David E. Weinstein, 2004. "Globalization and the Gains from Variety," NBER Working Papers 10314, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  13. Menzie Chinn & Jeffrey Frankel, 2005. "Will the Euro Eventually Surpass the Dollar as Leading International Reserve Currency?," NBER Working Papers 11510, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  14. Menzie D. Chinn & Hiro Ito, 2005. "Current Account Balances, Financial Development and Institutions: Assaying the World "Savings Glut"," NBER Working Papers 11761, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  15. Blanchard, Olivier & Giavazzi, Francesco & Sá, Filipa, 2005. "The US Current Account and the Dollar," CEPR Discussion Papers 4888, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  16. Jeffrey A. Frankel & Eduardo A. Cavallo, 2004. "Does Openness to Trade Make Countries More Vulnerable to Sudden Stops, Or Less? Using Gravity to Establish Causality," NBER Working Papers 10957, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  17. Richard N. Cooper, 2005. "Living with Global Imbalances: A Contrarian View," Policy Briefs PB05-03, Peterson Institute for International Economics.
  18. Ben S. Bernanke, 2005. "The global saving glut and the U.S. current account deficit," Speech 77, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
  19. Ricardo J. Caballero & Arvind Krishnamurthy, 2005. "Bubbles and Capital Flow Volatility: Causes and Risk Management," NBER Working Papers 11618, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  20. Sebastian Edwards, 2005. "Is the U.S. Current Account Deficit Sustainable? And If Not, How Costly is Adjustment Likely To Be?," NBER Working Papers 11541, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  21. William R. Cline, 2005. "United States as a Debtor Nation, The," Peterson Institute Press: All Books, Peterson Institute for International Economics, number 3993.
  22. repec:tcd:wpaper:tep16 is not listed on IDEAS
  23. Shang-Jin Wei & Jiandong Ju, 2006. "A Solution to Two Paradoxes of International Capital Flows," IMF Working Papers 06/178, International Monetary Fund.
  24. repec:fip:fedgsq:y:2005:i:mar10 is not listed on IDEAS
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