IDEAS home Printed from
MyIDEAS: Login to save this paper or follow this series

Productivity shocks, budget deficits and the current account

  • Bussière, Matthieu
  • Fratzscher, Marcel
  • Müller, Gernot J.

Currently the U.S. is experiencing record budget and current account deficits, a phenomenon familiar from the "Twin Deficits" discussion of the 1980s. In contrast, during the 1990s productivity growth has been identified as the primary cause of the US current account deficit. We suggest a theoretical framework which allows to evaluate empirically the relative importance of budget deficits and productivity shocks for the determination of the current account. Using a sample of 21 OECD countries and time series data from 1960 to 2003 we find little evidence for a contemporaneous effect of budget deficits on the current account, while country-specific productivity shocks appear to play a key role. JEL Classification: E62, F32, F41

If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.

File URL:
Download Restriction: no

Paper provided by European Central Bank in its series Working Paper Series with number 0509.

in new window

Date of creation: Aug 2005
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:ecb:ecbwps:20050509
Contact details of provider: Postal: 60640 Frankfurt am Main, Germany
Phone: +49 69 1344 0
Fax: +49 69 1344 6000
Web page:

More information through EDIRC

References listed on IDEAS
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:

as in new window
  1. Backus, David K & Kehoe, Patrick J & Kydland, Finn E, 1994. "Dynamics of the Trade Balance and the Terms of Trade: The J-Curve?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 84(1), pages 84-103, March.
  2. Jordi Galí & J. David López-Salido & Javier Vallés, 2007. "Understanding the Effects of Government Spending on Consumption," Journal of the European Economic Association, MIT Press, vol. 5(1), pages 227-270, 03.
  3. Marianne Baxter, 1995. "International Trade and Business Cycles," NBER Working Papers 5025, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  4. Giancarlo Corsetti & Gernot J. Müller, 2005. "Twin Deficits: Squaring Theory, Evidence and Common Sense," Economics Working Papers ECO2005/22, European University Institute.
  5. Menzie David Chinn & Eswar Prasad, 2000. "Medium-Term Determinants of Current Accounts in Industrial and Developing Countries: An Empirical Exploration," IMF Working Papers 00/46, International Monetary Fund.
  6. 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.
  7. Gruber, Joseph W. & Kamin, Steven B., 2007. "Explaining the global pattern of current account imbalances," Journal of International Money and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 26(4), pages 500-522, June.
  8. Nouriel Roubini, 1988. "Current Account and Budget Deficits in an Intertemporal Model of Consumption and Taxation Smoothing. A Solution to the "Feldstein-Horioka Puzzle"?," NBER Working Papers 2773, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  9. Reuven Glick & Kenneth S. Rogoff, 1993. "Global versus country-specific productivity shocks and the current account," International Finance Discussion Papers 443, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
  10. Francesco Giavazzi & Marco Pagano, 1990. "Can Severe Fiscal Contractions Be Expansionary? Tales of Two Small European Countries," NBER Chapters, in: NBER Macroeconomics Annual 1990, Volume 5, pages 75-122 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  11. Piersanti, Giovanni, 2000. "Current account dynamics and expected future budget deficits: some international evidence," Journal of International Money and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 19(2), pages 255-271, April.
  12. Michel Normandin, 1996. "Budget Deficit Persistence and the Twin Deficits Hypothesis," Macroeconomics 9607001, EconWPA.
  13. John Y. Campbell & N. Gregory Mankiw, 1989. "Consumption, Income, and Interest Rates: Reinterpreting the Time Series Evidence," NBER Working Papers 2924, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  14. Barro, R.J. & Martin, X.S., 1990. "World Real Interest Rates," RCER Working Papers 227, University of Rochester - Center for Economic Research (RCER).
    • Robert J. Barro & Xavier Sala-i-Martin, 1990. "World Real Interest Rates," NBER Chapters, in: NBER Macroeconomics Annual 1990, Volume 5, pages 15-74 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  15. Baxter, Marianne & King, Robert G, 1993. "Fiscal Policy in General Equilibrium," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 83(3), pages 315-34, June.
  16. Giuliodori, Massimo & Beetsma, Roel, 2008. "On the relationship between fiscal plans in the European Union: An empirical analysis based on real-time data," Journal of Comparative Economics, Elsevier, vol. 36(2), pages 221-242, June.
  17. Gernot J. Mueller, 2004. "Understanding the Dynamic Effects of Government Spending on Foreign Trade," Economics Working Papers ECO2004/27, European University Institute.
  18. Elliott, Graham & Fatas, Antonio, 1996. "International business cycles and the dynamics of the current account," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 40(2), pages 361-387, February.
  19. Roberto Perotti, 1999. "Fiscal Policy In Good Times And Bad," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 114(4), pages 1399-1436, November.
  20. Ahmed, Shaghil, 1986. "Temporary and permanent government spending in an open economy: Some evidence for the United Kingdom," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 17(2), pages 197-224, March.
  21. Pasaran, M.H. & Im, K.S. & Shin, Y., 1995. "Testing for Unit Roots in Heterogeneous Panels," Cambridge Working Papers in Economics 9526, Faculty of Economics, University of Cambridge.
  22. Iscan, Talan B., 2000. "The terms of trade, productivity growth and the current account," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 45(3), pages 587-611, June.
  23. Kollmann, Robert, 1998. "US trade balance dynamics: the role of fiscal policy and productivity shocks and of financial market linkages," Journal of International Money and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 17(4), pages 637-669, August.
  24. Christopher J. Erceg & Luca Guerrieri & Christopher Gust, 2005. "Expansionary Fiscal Shocks and the US Trade Deficit," International Finance, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 8(3), pages 363-397, December.
  25. Christopher J. Erceg & Luca Guerrieri & Christopher J. Gust, 2005. "Expansionary fiscal shocks and the trade deficit," International Finance Discussion Papers 825, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
  26. Catherine L. Mann, 2002. "Perspectives on the U.S. Current Account Deficit and Sustainability," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 16(3), pages 131-152, Summer.
  27. B. Douglas Bernheim, 1988. "Budget Deficits and the Balance of Trade," NBER Chapters, in: Tax Policy and the Economy: Volume 2, pages 1-32 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  28. repec:fth:harver:1435 is not listed on IDEAS
  29. David K. Backus & Patrick J. Kehoe & Finn E. Kydland, 1991. "International real business cycles," Staff Report 146, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis.
  30. Levin, Andrew & Lin, Chien-Fu & James Chu, Chia-Shang, 2002. "Unit root tests in panel data: asymptotic and finite-sample properties," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 108(1), pages 1-24, May.
  31. Baxter, Marianne & Stockman, Alan C., 1989. "Business cycles and the exchange-rate regime : Some international evidence," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 23(3), pages 377-400, May.
  32. Jaime Marquez, 2004. "Productivity, investment, and current accounts: Reassessing the evidence," Review of World Economics (Weltwirtschaftliches Archiv), Springer, vol. 140(2), pages 282-301, June.
  33. David Johnson, 1986. "Consumption, Permanent Income, and Financial Wealth in Canada: Empirical Evidence on the Intertemporal Approach to the Current Account," Canadian Journal of Economics, Canadian Economics Association, vol. 19(2), pages 189-206, May.
  34. Joseph W. Gruber, 2002. "Productivity shocks, habits, and the current account," International Finance Discussion Papers 733, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
  35. Alberto Alesina & Roberto Perotti, 1995. "Fiscal Expansions and Fiscal Adjustments in OECD Countries," NBER Working Papers 5214, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  36. Baxter, Marianne, 1995. "International trade and business cycles," Handbook of International Economics, in: G. M. Grossman & K. Rogoff (ed.), Handbook of International Economics, edition 1, volume 3, chapter 35, pages 1801-1864 Elsevier.
Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:ecb:ecbwps:20050509. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Official Publications)

If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.

If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

This information is provided to you by IDEAS at the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis using RePEc data.