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Merchanting and Current Account Balances

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  • Beusch, Elisabeth
  • Döbeli, Barbara
  • Fischer, Andreas M
  • Yesin, Pinar

Abstract

Merchanting is goods trade that does not cross the border of the firm's country of residence. Merchanting grew strongly in the last decade in several European economies and has become an important determinant of these countries' current account. Because merchanting firms reinvest their earnings abroad to expand their international activities, this practice raises national savings in the home country without increasing domestic investment. This results in a larger current account surplus. To show the empirical links between merchanting and the current account balance, two exercises are performed in this paper using a sample of 53 countries during 1980-2011. The first exercise estimates the savings impact of merchanting countries in empirical models of the medium-term current account. The second exercise shows that merchanting's impact on the country's current account is sensitive to firm mobility.

Suggested Citation

  • Beusch, Elisabeth & Döbeli, Barbara & Fischer, Andreas M & Yesin, Pinar, 2014. "Merchanting and Current Account Balances," CEPR Discussion Papers 9990, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  • Handle: RePEc:cpr:ceprdp:9990
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    Cited by:

    1. Fischer, Andreas M. & Groeger, Henrike & Sauré, Philip & Yeşin, Pınar, 2019. "Current account adjustment and retained earnings," Journal of International Money and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 94(C), pages 246-259.
    2. Tille, C�dric, 2017. "The Changing International linkages of Switzerland: An Overview," CEPR Discussion Papers 12176, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    3. International Monetary Fund, 2017. "Ireland: Selected Issues," IMF Staff Country Reports 2017/172, International Monetary Fund.
    4. Leonor Coutinho & Alessandro Turrini & Stefan Zeugner, 2018. "Methodologies for the Assessment of Current Account Benchmarks," European Economy - Discussion Papers 2015 - 086, Directorate General Economic and Financial Affairs (DG ECFIN), European Commission.
    5. Pinar Yesin, 2016. "Exchange Rate Predictability and State-of-the-Art Models," Working Papers 16.03, Swiss National Bank, Study Center Gerzensee.
    6. Stefan Avdjiev & Mary Everett & Philip R Lane & Hyun Song Shin, 2018. "Tracking the international footprints of global firms," BIS Quarterly Review, Bank for International Settlements, March.
    7. Philip Sauré, 2015. "The Resilient Trade Surplus, the Pharmaceutical Sector, and Exchange Rate Assessments in Switzerland," Working Paper Series WP15-11, Peterson Institute for International Economics.
    8. Joseph E. Gagnon, 2014. "Alternatives to Currency Manipulation: What Switzerland, Singapore, and Hong Kong Can Do," Policy Briefs PB14-17, Peterson Institute for International Economics.
    9. Sharon Tennyson, 2010. "Incentive Effects of Community Rating in Insurance Markets: Evidence from Massachusetts Automobile Insurance," The Geneva Risk and Insurance Review, Palgrave Macmillan;International Association for the Study of Insurance Economics (The Geneva Association), vol. 35(1), pages 19-46, June.
    10. Bürgi Bonanomi, Elisabeth & Elsig, Manfred & Espa, Ilaria, 2015. "The Commodity Sector and Related Governance Challenges from a Sustainable Development Perspective: The Example of Switzerland Current Research Gaps," Papers 865, World Trade Institute.

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    current account adjustment; industry dynamics; Merchanting;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • F10 - International Economics - - Trade - - - General
    • F20 - International Economics - - International Factor Movements and International Business - - - General
    • F32 - International Economics - - International Finance - - - Current Account Adjustment; Short-term Capital Movements

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