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External Wealth and the Trade Balance: A Time-Series Analysis for the Netherlands

Author

Listed:
  • S. Holle
  • M. Demertzis

Abstract

This paper investigates the effect of the external wealth position of the Netherlands on the Dutch trade balance. Contrary to intuition which allows net creditors to run a trade deficit, the Netherlands has over a period of years be running trade surpluses. To explain this paradox, not unique to the Dutch case, we use the model applied by Lane and Milesi-Ferretti to evaluate the role of a differential between rates of return on foreign assets and foreign liabilities. The results of our time-series analysis suggest that the effect of external wealth becomes more negative as foreign assets become relatively more lucrative. In addition, negative valuation changes of Dutch net external wealth due to an increase in the value of foreign liabilities during the nineties, can explain the trade balance. Finally, a comparison with Denmark shows an equivalent influence of the rates of return in the way wealth affects the trade balance.

Suggested Citation

  • S. Holle & M. Demertzis, 2002. "External Wealth and the Trade Balance: A Time-Series Analysis for the Netherlands," WO Research Memoranda (discontinued) 716, Netherlands Central Bank, Research Department.
  • Handle: RePEc:dnb:wormem:716
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    File URL: https://www.dnb.nl/binaries/wo0716_tcm46-146008.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Adrian Pagan, 1986. "Two Stage and Related Estimators and Their Applications," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 53(4), pages 517-538.
    2. Massad, Carlos, 1983. "The real cost of the external debt for the creditor and for the debtor," Revista CEPAL, Naciones Unidas Comisión Económica para América Latina y el Caribe (CEPAL), April.
    3. Masson, Paul R. & Kremers, Jeroen & Horne, Jocelyn, 1994. "Net foreign assets and international adjustment: The United States, Japan and Germany," Journal of International Money and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 13(1), pages 27-40, February.
    4. Lane, Philip R. & Milesi-Ferretti, Gian Maria, 2001. "The external wealth of nations: measures of foreign assets and liabilities for industrial and developing countries," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 55(2), pages 263-294, December.
    5. Lane, Philip R. & Milesi-Ferretti, Gian Maria, 2002. "External wealth, the trade balance, and the real exchange rate," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 46(6), pages 1049-1071, June.
    6. Aizenman, Joshua, 1983. "A theory of current account and exchange rate determinations," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 23(3), pages 261-280, September.
    7. Burda, Michael & Wyplosz, Charles, 2017. "Macroeconomics: a European Text," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, edition 7, number 9780198737513.
    8. Lane, Philip & Milesi-Ferretti, Gian Maria, "undated". "External Wealth of Nations," Instructional Stata datasets for econometrics extwealth, Boston College Department of Economics.
    9. Jaewoo Lee & Menzie D. Chinn, 1998. "The Current Account and the Real Exchange Rate: A Structural VAR Analysis of Major Currencies," NBER Working Papers 6495, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    10. Parha Deb & Salim M. Darbar, 1999. "Linkages Among Asset Markets in the United States; Tests in a Bivariate GARCH Framework," IMF Working Papers 99/158, International Monetary Fund.
    11. Taylor, Alan M., 2002. "A century of current account dynamics," Journal of International Money and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 21(6), pages 725-748, November.
    12. Philip R. Lane & Gian M Milesi-Ferretti, 2000. "External Capital Structure; Theory and Evidence," IMF Working Papers 00/152, International Monetary Fund.
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Net foreign assets; trade balance; rate of return differential;

    JEL classification:

    • F21 - International Economics - - International Factor Movements and International Business - - - International Investment; Long-Term Capital Movements
    • F32 - International Economics - - International Finance - - - Current Account Adjustment; Short-term Capital Movements

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