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Fundamentals at Odds? The US Current Account Deficit and The Dollar

  • Milesi-Ferretti, Gian Maria

In mid-2008, the real effective exchange rate of the dollar was close to its minimum level for the past 4 decades. At the same time, however, the U.S. trade and current account deficits remain large and, absent a significant correction in coming years, would contribute to a further accumulation of U.S. external liabilities. The paper discusses the tension between these two aspects of the dollar assessment, and what factors can help reconcile them. It focuses in particular on the terms of trade, adjustment lags, and measurement issues related to both the real effective exchange rate and the current account balance.

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Paper provided by C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers in its series CEPR Discussion Papers with number 7046.

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Date of creation: Nov 2008
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Handle: RePEc:cpr:ceprdp:7046
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  1. Hilary Croke & Steven B. Kamin & Sylvain Leduc, 2006. "An Assessment of the Disorderly Adjustment Hypothesis for Industrial Economies," International Finance, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 9(1), pages 37-61, 05.
  2. Samuel Kortum & Jonathan Eaton & Robert Dekle, 2007. "Unbalanced Trade," 2007 Meeting Papers 921, Society for Economic Dynamics.
  3. Stephanie E. Curcuru & Charles P. Thomas & Francis E. Warnock, 2008. "Current Account Sustainability and Relative Reliability," NBER Working Papers 14295, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  4. Paul Cashin & Luis Felipe Céspedes & Ratna Sahay, 2003. "Commodity Currencies and the Real Exchange Rate," Working Papers Central Bank of Chile 236, Central Bank of Chile.
  5. Curcuru, Stephanie E. & Dvorak, Tomas & Warnock, Francis E., 2007. "Cross-border returns differentials," Globalization and Monetary Policy Institute Working Paper 04, Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas.
  6. Carol C. Bertaut & Steven B. Kamin & Charles P. Thomas, 2008. "How long can the unsustainable U.S. current account deficit be sustained?," International Finance Discussion Papers 935, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
  7. Chen, Yu-chin & Rogoff, Kenneth, 2003. "Commodity currencies," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 60(1), pages 133-160, May.
  8. Giancarlo Corsetti & Philippe Martin & Paolo Pesenti, 2008. "Varieties and the Transfer Problem: The Extensive Margin of Current Account Adjustment," NBER Working Papers 13795, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  9. Chinn, Menzie D. & Lee, Jaewoo, 2009. "Three current account balances: A "Semi-Structuralist" interpretation," Japan and the World Economy, Elsevier, vol. 21(2), pages 202-212, March.
  10. Richard N. Cooper, 2008. "Global Imbalances: Globalization, Demography, and Sustainability," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 22(3), pages 93-112, Summer.
  11. Backus, David K. & Crucini, Mario J., 2000. "Oil prices and the terms of trade," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 50(1), pages 185-213, February.
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